The Olympics have been and gone, with Team GB seizing an unexpected second place – well done guys! Medals aside though, one of the main joys of the games though have been seeing the sports that you wouldn’t normally pay any attention to getting the prime time slot on TV. So well done, Gymnastics, Canoeing, Handball and Fencing – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching you all, and I’ll be looking out for you of the Eurosports channels (I mean it this time, I promise). But this got me thinking – what other sports would suit future Olympics?
Why? Is it fair to add a sport that is only really played in one country? Probably not, but it’s leaving me open to a few different suggestions later on down the list. As hockey grew in prominence this summer (Go Team GB!), I was reminded of it’s more violent cousin from Ireland. Played with shorter sticks, oval blades and head injuries, it’s as relentlessly entertaining as I am confused about the rules. Combined with Gaelic Football, this would leave a fun – if unusual new team sport, and we’ve all enjoyed the Rugby Sevens over the past weeks.
Likely winner: Ireland. Duh.
Why? A racquet sport that sadly does not sure the same limelight as tennis or badminton, but has been fighting for an Olympic spot for years. And by rights, it should probably have one by now. Played in a small cube by two people smacking a ball hell for leather against the rules, it’s a great crowd pleasing, fast-paced sport that apparently burns more calories in such a short period of time as any other exercise. Easy to learn and widely available, this would also be one of those sports that could inspire the next generation into participation.
Likely winners: Britain has produced some great players that could challenge. That being said the current world champions are from France and Egypt, the latter of whom are hosting this years championships at the end of October.
Why? Boxing and martial arts are already involved in the Olympics, so why not combine them into their bare-knuckle form that admittedly I never saw the appeal of. Admittedly, part of that may be due to the flashy and overly-gaudy showmanship which reminds me of the worst excesses of wrestling, so maybe if you stripped down the sport to the bare essentials it could work? Or would that ruin the fun?
Likely winners: Errr… I’ve heard of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, so let’s go for them. Why not.
Why? Watersports don’t have to be about the fastest round a course. Gymnastics and diving have taught us that style can be just as important as speed, and wakeboarding offers plenty of opportunity for that. Combining snowboarding and skiing, it’s a tough sport requiring great athleticism as I can vouch for from the time that I tried it and ended up drinking most of a lake in Blackpool (not the best hangover cure I’ve ever had, I must admit). It’s also a great crowd-pleaser, watching athletes twirl themselves around obstacles, trying not to lose balance and land headfirst in the drink.
Likely winners: I’d imagine a tussle between USA, Australia and Japan would be a likely result, all seem to be good at this.
Why? Those who read my last article reviewing the Mudnificent 7 event may be detecting a whiff of bias about this one, to which I would plead guilty. But why not? Obstacle running could involve any number of challenges for the athletes to overcome, exercising just about every muscle in their body. One that would be great for the televised audience, watching the course unfold and seeing some of the toughest athletes take on the challenge – it would be like watching the heptathlon happen all at once. There’s also the mental side to it as well – who of us here hasn’t waded through half a dozen swamps, bursting into tears upon reaching the end only to be confronted by a ten foot wall? Just me?
Likely winners: Tough one to say – USA have some great athletes but Team GB could run, swim and climb away with the gold here. The World Championships being held in Canada during October could give us a clue.
Why? They’re fast growing in prominence – surely the E-lympics can’t be far away? Watching people play computer games may not sound entertaining, but through in some madcap and overly excitable commentators and you’d have something would both be fun and reminiscent of Channel 4’s Gamesmaster. Plus it’s a sport you could relate to!
Likely winners: Korea. Always Korea.
Tug Of War
Why? Formerly a regular feature in the games until 1920, surely the Tokyo Games would be the perfect place for the 100th anniversary of the last one! Combining Tokyo’s love of pulling of ropes and… Fine, I’ll admit it. I’m running out of ideas now.
Likely winners: According to the Tug of War International Federation (Yes, that’s a thing), the championships held in Netherlands earlier this year appear to have been won by Ireland. So we’ll go with them.
Which sports would you like to see featured in future games? Let us know in the comments!