The Olympics, right? So many events. Swimming, gymnastics, synchronized swimming gymnastics and something like indoor cycling but on a roller derby court I guess? It’s a lot to take in but even more than that, the degree of difficulty is SUPER hard to take in.
Everyone makes everything look pretty easy (except for the US Men’s gymnastics team. GYMNASTICS BURN!) so there’s a tendency to undervalue just how hard everything is. Which is why I have a solution and proposal to quell this injustice.
THE EVERYMAN/WOMAN OLYMPICS.
Here’s the pitch: I watched Gabby Douglas do crazy stuff all over the place in the gymnastics individual all around. Like truly crazy stuff. Stuff so crazy that she made look so easy that it’s not inconceivable that a decent amount of the populace could talk themselves into thinking that they could replicate her actions, much like I do after watching Wimbledon or The Masters. Obviously, we can’t, but the gracefulness of these professionals is such that it creates an illusion of easiness.
The remedy to this is the Everyman/Woman Olympics.
Simply put, these Olympics would be held at the same time as the regular ones but in a schlubbier place. What’s the Hoboken of the UK? That’s where these would take place.
I know what you are thinking, “But Knox, who would we get to perform in these schlubbier Olympics?”
Great question. You are bringing it so hard with these questions and I love it. I really do.
ANSWER: There would be a draft seven days before the first event within each country. It would so be like the Hunger Games except without the death and hopefully without Effie Trinket because she’s SO obnoxious and would totally get on basically everyone’s nerves all the time.
Men and women ages 20-40 would be entered into a selection pool and chosen at random for all the different events. It would be like jury duty in that it’s just your duty as a citizen. Each country would transport the citizens to the Olympic site and let them train for four days so they don’t kill themselves. while trying to fling a discus or whatever. Also, they would transport people via train with TONS of food at their disposal because that was one of my favorite parts of The Hunger Games.
Again, why would this watered-down version of the Olympics be compelling?
A) Because it would basically be like Wipeout and Failblog having a global baby for all the world to see.
B) Because it presents context to the real Olympics, which is so important. I intuitively understand that someone lifting 800lbs over their head is difficult. But how difficult is 200 meters of the backstroke? A back flip on a pommel horse? Pole vaulting? The triple jump? Trying to post up LeBron and the rest of Team USA? These things seem difficult and obviously are, but I can’t accurately discern just HOW difficult.
Imagine sitting down to watch a gymnastics floor routine and seeing a pudgy middle aged guy from Brussels throwing himself all over the floor and ultimately vomiting on himself at the end. THEN, you see some Russian pixey do like 18 flips in a row and stick the landing. Wouldn’t you inherently appreciate that more?
Or what if you saw Michael Phelps do the 200 meter butterfly in just under two minutes, while Gene from Albuquerque finished his in 13 minutes? Would that make you really see Phelps’ talent in a different light?
I’m a sucker for context and I think the Everyman/Woman Olympics could turn into a really cool thing. Think about the possibilities for the Opening Ceremony: Nickelback could play a few sets and the whole thing could be hosted by Chris Harrison from The Bachelor. GUYS THIS COULD WORK.
What event would you most like to see normal people compete and fail in?