Almanac Olympics – Middle Australia Calls Time on the Olympics

First published Friday 5 August, 2016
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MIDDLE AUSTRALIA & THE NEW OLYMPICS

With the recent controversies related to all matters Olympic, the Editor and I have decided a revamp is needed for the Olympics to survive. While we are too modest in calling for the new version to be named The Middle Australia Olympics, we will let others decide this… at their peril.

As most of us are aware, or have been told by Kitty Chiller, the motto for the Olympics is Citius, Altius, Fortius. For those whose Latin is a little rusty (or ferrugineae in Latin) this means Faster, Higher, Stronger. Or at least that’s what Kitty Chiller made me write 100 times after Olympics Deportment School.

In keeping with the historic Citius, Altius, Fortius ethos of the Games we are making sweeping changes to the sports line up. Faster, Higher, Stronger doesn’t mean judged or stupid sports. Our other important criterion is, for a sport to be in the Olympics it must be the pinnacle of that particular sport.

Therefore with the stroke of a 2B pencil, handmade from the original Athens Olympic Stadium, the following sports will be struck off the competition list simply because of the new judged rule. Gymnastics; Diving; Synchronised Swimming (we can hear you all sigh in disappointment of this news or at least we could if our heads weren’t underwater); Boxing; Judo; Taekwondo; Wrestling (judged and stupid); Equestrian (judged and who cares apart from Range Rover driving Melbourne supporters?); Pentathlon (it has Equestrian as one of its five events, and besides it was Kitty Chiller’s sport and nobody gets away with making me write lines after school); and, Race Walking (why did it exist in the first place).

Tennis and Golf are immediately ruled out of our Games. Neither of them are the pinnacle of their respective sports. Give me a Grand Slam event, particularly Wimbledon, over the Olympics any day in Tennis. In Golf, I will take a Major, especially The Masters, over the Olympics. The players don’t care, the public doesn’t care. My apathy is so high I even struggled to write this paragraph.

Team sports are a vexed issue. The Editor and I debated at length over whether there should be changes. However, we came to a sensible conclusion. Probably to the chagrin of many Olympic fans, there will no longer be team sports in the Games. The reason for this decision is that all team sports rely on umpires or referees to run the game. By its very nature officiating is, to a certain degree, subjective. As such this means team sports fit into the judged category of sports and therefore precludes them from future Olympics. This means Hockey, Volleyball (Indoors and Beach), Soccer, Handball (hardly a world game anyway, and besides what is it? A basketball/netball/korfball hybrid?), Water Polo, Basketball, and Rugby Sevens are all gone.

To further streamline the Olympics we are making cuts to retained sports. Swimming will only have one stroke event. Choose whatever stroke you want, but as long as it’s the fastest. Backstroke, Butterfly (we too much respect for people’s shoulders) or Breaststroke (the Race Walking of Swimming) will no longer have their own events. This will cut into the number of relays, but good. The other change to Relays will be the same four swimmers have to swim the heats, semis, and final. There will be none of this ridiculous swimming a heat only and walking away with a medal. No Medley events either as ‘Stars on 45’ put us off all Medleys.

Track and Field will also suffer cuts. There won’t be the 3000m Steeplechase as we couldn’t think of a logical reason to keep it. The 1500m will be replaced by the Mile as we believe the Mile holds more allure and prestige. As mentioned previously Race Walking is gone due to the Judged and Stupid Sport reasons. It will not be replaced by the ‘Who Can Whisper the Loudest’ event.

Cycling is in need of a shakeup on many fronts. However, we will constrain ourselves to the Olympics on this occasion. We are bringing back the Kilo event for men, and introducing it for women. Women previously only rode 500m. Some events will go, such as the Omnium and Points Race as nobody can really work out what goes on in them. An event which has Mr Bean riding a 1930s style motorbike at the front of the riders doesn’t need to be in the Olympics. The Team Sprint will stay with the change that the Women’s event will become a three rider event rather than the current two. Downhill Mountain Biking will be a new sport because they are crazy and go fast.

Archery and all Shooting sports are out as well. It is our view, to be a sport in the Olympics the “athlete’s” heart rate should at least get above resting rate. Put them in the Hobby Olympics.

There will be no weight categories in the revamped Olympics. Weightlifting will only have one category, Open. There won’t be any Lightweight events. There isn’t a marathon for Fat Bastards, so no rowing for small people. Coxswains careers are over as well. The Olympics are for athletes, not passengers in a boat. If one of the eight people who row the boat vigorously down the stream can’t steer as well, then Rowing is a sport for people from all walks of life.

As you can see the Olympics will be radically different in the future, but for the better. Our changes are logical and sound even if not everyone will agree with them. Sometimes hard decisions need to be made and the IOC is incapable of doing that. We have done it for them.

Enjoy the revamped Olympics. Broadcast rights negotiations can be sent to us at Middle Australia in Panama.

The Editor and Chairman

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Comments

  1. Makes perfect sense Middle Australia.

  2. Andrew Fithall says:

    Aren’t relays team events? Out.

  3. I propose F1 and Horse Racing, 3200m please, after all this seems to be the new mantra for Olympics, Cashius, Visaus, Fortunus.

  4. With F1 and horse racing now included, Melbourne seems the obvious permanent venue for the Games to get rid of that bidding and corruption nonsense. November seems ideal. Will the 3200 metre cup still be a handicap or WFA. John Clarke as IOC Chairman and Steve Dank can run WADA.
    Well played Middle Australia.
    Inevitably my cynicism will evaporate tomorrow morning and I’ll be hooked.

  5. rabid dog says:

    While I agree with most (and you forgot that surfing and skateboarding are slated for 2020), I must take a point with boxing. If two guys want to beat the crap out of each other (with rules and gloves – none of this cage fighting BS), then I’m in. Imagine THAT as an Open event!

  6. You didn’t mention farnarkling! There is nothing better than a really good arkle. I suppose that you spoil sports will rule that out as well because it is a team sports.

  7. Middle Australia says:

    Outstanding comments and feedback. Relay could be classified as team events and indeed some sections of the sporting community would. However, in the Middle Australia Sports Awards the Team Sport category is only open to sports where the players work with each other to score in some form usually involving a ball. In addition, a team competes against one opposing team and they typically have physical contact. Relays, Rowing, Kayaking, and similar sports do fall under the Team sport definition for Middle Australia. Saying that, we aren’t necessarily opposed to relays being booted from the Olympics.

    Melbourne does seem to be the logical permanent home of the Olympics if F1 and a 3200m horse race is to be included. Their won’t be any weight restrictions for the jockeys in the new Olympics. The first week of November is a very sensible choice of dates. John Clarke is an excellent choice for IOC Chairman. My only reservation about Dank being head of WADA is that he will talk a big game, but never release anything so we will never find out if there have been any positive tests.

    With Melbourne becoming the permanent home of the Olympics somebody will need to tell the residents of West Heidelberg they may have to look for new housing. We will delegate that job to Kitty Chiller.

    Farnarkling! How could we forget? Like any sensible sports loving person, I also enjoy a good Arkle. We will include it as the permanent demonstration sport.

    The Chairman

  8. Middle Australia says:

    Sorry, a correction to the above.

    Relays, Rowing, Kayaking, and similar sports do not fall under the Team sport definition for Middle Australia.

  9. Great piece. Have always wondered why swimming gets so many events. Have as many as you want in your own world championships but pick the fastest (as you suggest) for the Olympics. I love golf but I’m willing to forgive that exclusion based on your overall approach.
    In the spirit of your changes is anyone raising their hand to tally up the adjusted medal table? We could add a new category to the per capita and GDP-based tables we often see kicking around after the games. – the Middle Australia Medal Tally.

  10. Middle Australia says:

    Here at Middle Australia we love golf as well, but our criteria does rule it out. Golfers have enough time in the sun, most tournaments in fact except the British Open, so they don’t need the Olympics.

    At this stage we don’t have anyone working on the adjusted medal table. To get the continued millions for Olympic sports from the government there probably does need to be an adjusted table.

  11. Middle Australia says:

    In reply to Rabid Dog, we do like the idea of boxing, but haven’t forgotten the 1984 Olympics where Jeff Fenech was horribly cheated of a win when fighting Redžep Redžepovski. From then Boxing has always been dodgy and as it fits into the Judged category it is out of the new games. If only they used their judging for good instead of evil.

  12. I have similar rules. I allow sports that can be objectively measured or counted, and I allow for subjectivity in enforcing the rules in team sports. I wholeheartedly agree with throwing out any sports for which the Olympics isn’t the pinnacle.

    My additional rule is to kick out any event where the use of make up and wearing sequinned costumes is essential to success. Leave that stuff for Dance Moms.

  13. Middle Australia, i seek some profound advice.

    For the rowing/kayaking sports which waters are more treacherous? Rio De janeiro in 2016, or Lake Wendouree in 1956?

    Over to you.

    Glen!

  14. Middle Australia says:

    Gill it was that very point about team sports which the Editor debated over. As you accurately write, the outcome for team sports is objective with their being subjectivity in umpiring. We discussed the mistakes in the officiating will wash out over the course of a match thereby not benefitting one team over another, unless that team is Hawthorn. However, we did discuss the Hand of God goal by Maradona. While it was in the 1986 World Cup, and not the Olympics, with soccer being in the Games it made us put a question mark against all team sports for the Olympics hence them being ruled out.

    After the Olympics are over the Editor and I will reconvene and evaluate what went on in Rio and then we will analyse the Olympics. Who knows, team sports may end up on a watch list for potential inclusion.

    The Chairman

  15. Andrew Starkie says:

    Loved the fencing last night. Beautiful. Unique. Ancient. Skillful. That’s what the Games are about.

  16. Middle Australia says:

    Glen, An excellent question and one we have researched all day since seeing your post. We went into the vast Middle Australia filing room and dug up the old Movietone Newsreel films from 1956. We invited the Middle Australia family over for a film afternoon and watched the 1956 Olympics. Not many people know there was 965.71 metres of film taken at the ’56 Games. Not many people know either that the Melbourne Olympics opened on my mum’s birthday, 22nd November, which we thought was a kind gesture.

    In answer to your question, we have come to the conclusion Lake Wendouree was more treacherous than what we have seen in Rio so far. Apart from the odd submerged couch in Rio Lake Wendouree offered more challenging conditions. Lake Wendouree is barely over 2km long so the rowers needed better brakes than a F1 car to stop before ending up in the centre of Ballarat. What makes Lake Wendouree more treacherous than Rio is that the Lake was only on average 2m deep and exposed on all sides meaning evening if a rower sneezed it sent waves down the course. The other factor which is hardly known is that at Lake Wendouree in 1956 the competitors in rowing and kayaking had to contend with the Frawley family throwing potatoes at the them from behind the grandstand. In comparison to Lake Wendouree, Rio is a millpond.

    While we were only asked to compare Lake Wendouree and Rio, the worst conditions we have ever seen was on the last day of the 2000 Sydney Olympics out at Penrith. For two weeks the Penrith course had been glass. Rowing went off without a hitch. Most of the kayaking had been completed without a hitch, until the Sunday. The wind was so strong it was lucky the Blue Mountains didn’t end up in the centre of Penrith. Waves coming down the course were bigger than at Shipsterns. The competition kept on being delayed until it could be delayed no longer. It was the last day of the Olympics and the competition had to be completed before the Closing Ceremony started so eventually racing commenced. Mick Fanning would have been happy with the conditions. All the events were completed prior to the Closing Ceremony and only a few kayakers ended up in the water. For the record Australia won bronze in the WK1 500m by Katrin Borchert, and a silver in the MK2 500m by Andrew Trim and Danny Collins.

    There we have a long answer to your question.

    The Chairman

  17. Thank you Chairman of Middle Australias, that gives me clarity.

    Removing 50,000 cubic metres of weeds from Lake Wendouree, having to build extra lanes, starting bays and a rowing shed at short notice pales into iinsignificance to having to deal with the bogan behaviour of the Frawley family. Nothing, or nobody, in Rio came close to the behaviour they displayed back in ’56.

    Happy to have the memories flood back .

    Glen!

  18. Backstroke should be excluded from the Olympics. Any sport where you move forward while looking backwards is too much like politics.

  19. Started reading this as satire and ended up agreeing with everything in it. Except the team sports bit. After watching the Pearls this morning I’ve been a sevens fan since birth. They are excellent. And their skin is so smooth. Where do I get a team poster?

  20. Agree with nearly all except the new inclusion of downhill mountain biking, which seems to be practiced mainly by graffiti vandals. Kitty Chiller has become somewhat of a hero since she turfed Kyrgios and Tomic in my view and perhaps should be the new President of the Senate. As for the administrative posts, while I support John Clarke, I would also nominate Roy and HG. At the very least they should be the official commentators for all events, alongside D. Cometti. All events to be called in Latin and thus will come to pass that great state of affairs in The Land of Oz – Robertus Est Fratris Tui Patris. Think about it scholars….translation available tomorrow if nobody can get it right!

  21. Middle Australia says:

    Andrew, Fencing at it’s purest is a work of art. Even better when it is done by farmers in the Mallee.

    Admittedly we did have reservations about keeping Fencing in the Olympics. We still haven’t forgotten Boris Onishchenko of the USSR from the 1976 Olympics. Boris the Cheat or Disonischenko, as he became known, was a Pentathlete from Kiev. Boris had won the Gold Medal in Mexico and Munich before the ’76 Montreal Games. And who can’t forget the 1976 Montreal Olympics apart from the Australians?

    Coming into the Fencing, the second event, Boris was fourth and worried. Utilising some Soviet ingenuity, Boris rigged his Epee so he could trigger a hit without even touching his opponent. As it turned out that ingenuity wasn’t all that ingenue and Boris was kicked out of the competition, and banned for life. When Boris returned home the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev even chastised him. While we can’t confirm this, our sources tell us Brezhnev said to Boris, “if you are going to cheat, don’t get caught”. Boris returned to Kiev to become a taxi driver and eat chicken for the rest of his life.

    Fortunately technology has improved since 1976 and Fencing is now an objective sport hence remains in the Games.

    The Chairman

  22. Middle Australia says:

    Peter, An excellent analogy of Backstroke and politics. While that very valid reason wasn’t the reason we removed Backstroke from the Olympics, we would happily apply it.

    Right at this moment Rowing is feeling very nervous, and not because of the rough conditions in Rio.

    The Chairman

  23. Middle Australia says:

    Bucko, An interesting point you raise about Downhill Mountain Biking. With the IOC proposing the inclusion of Skateboarding in Tokyo we believe their street artistic skills are better. Besides due to all the crashes Downhillers have we doubt their hands have the dexterity to sign their name let alone spray some ironic image.

    No problem in supporting the move of Kitty Chiller into the Senate. Seeing Kitty and Derryn Hinch go head to head for air time would almost make the Senate interesting.

    Excellent suggestion of having Roy and HG, and Dennis Commetti as official commentators. If anyone can describe sport in Latin it is those three.

    A very good Latin challenge there at the end. While for the past few days we have been working on our Romansh (always handy when in Switzerland and dealing with the IOC) all we could come up with from our Latin class exercise books is, “Robert is the brother of your Father”. We look forward to clarity.

    The Chairman

  24. Correctamundo – quod erat demonstrandum – “Bob’s your Uncle”.

  25. Middle Australia says:

    AJC, How good were the Pearls this morning? The highlight of the Games so far and it is hard to see any performance outshining them.

    Team sports was the hardest group of sports to decide upon for continuing in the Olympics. The Editor and I debated their merits at length. Indeed, in replying to Gill last night we flagged Team sports may return to the potential inclusion sport after Rio. After watching the match this morning I would say it is a definite, at least Rugby 7s anyway.

    The beauty of the 7s is it’s 53.33% less complex than normal Rugby. Therefore those rules that not even Stephen Hawking using a slide rule and a supercomputer can’t understand aren’t present.

    Going by the Pearls v New Zealand final, Rugby Sevens is a fantastic display of skill and athleticism. May 7s remain a prime sport of the Olympics.

    The Chairman

  26. Middle Australia says:

    Bucko, Outstanding. Here at Middle Australia we love it when Latin transfers to a local saying.

    The Chairman

  27. Middle Australia you say who can’t forget the mOntreal Olympics except the Australians?!

    There are Canadians trying to erase the memory/fact that they were the only host nation not to win a Gold on home soil. Not something to boast about.

    Glen!

  28. What about re-instating Tug Of War? Apparently was in the first few modern Olympics, way overdue for a comeback. Good reasons for this include: Satisfies the Fortius criterion, not a sport involving judging, certainly not a stupid sport (ask Roy & HG). Finally, will allow equal opportunity for overweight or obese persons as all teams will need an anchor, some wrestlers will find a new career and fat people can win medals. Over to you Middle OZ.

  29. Agree with most of the sports deleted with a stroke of your 2B pencil Middle Australia.

    May I suggest if all team events are part of the cull then it paves the way for the overhaul to include all athletes to represent only themselves and not their country.

    No more of the divisive, bombastic nationalism, no more taxpayers money p!ssed against the wall and recognition that ultimately most athletes are competing for their own satisfaction anyway. The Olympics will then go back to being a celebration of the human race, not an arms race.

  30. Middle Australia says:

    Glen, Oh Canada and Montreal. How could we forget?

    We are still too scarred from Steve Holland coming third in the 1500m after going in as red hot favourite. In the final Steve was beaten by the Americans Goodell and Hackett (I have heard that name in swimming somewhere before) with all swimmers going under the World Record time held by Steve. Goodell won in 15:02.40. After Montreal Steve retired from swimming at the grand old age of 18.

    We are also scarred from New Zealand beating the Kookaburras in Hockey in Montreal. New Zealand were hardly a hockey powerhouse in 1976 and Australia was expected to defeat them in the final. However, New Zealand prevailed with 1-0 win. This was the start of the bad luck and near misses run for the Kookaburras. It wasn’t until 2004 in Athens that Australia finally won their first Men’s Gold Medal in Hockey. Perhaps appropriately, Barry Dancer was the Head Coach in 2004 and played in the 1976 losing final. The ideal redemption. Barry is also one of the best people you can meet. Ric Charlesworth also played in the 1976 final.

    Not only did the Canadians not win a gold medal in Montreal, the first time a host country had never won a gold in a Summer Games, but the Games almost sent Montreal broke. The largesse of the Games left Montreal with a C$1.6bn debt, 12 times the original budget, which took 30 years to pay off. As local Leonard Cohen would say, Hallelujah.

    The Chairman

  31. Middle Australia says:

    Bucko, Like your suggestion about Tug of War, and back in it goes. It fits all the necessary criteria and even gives people sitting on the couch right at the moment a chance to compete in future Olympics.

    Very true wrestlers needing another career. There is a limit to how many can go to WWF and besides how much wildlife can be saved by ex-wrestlers?

    The Chairman

  32. Middle Australia says:

    Jeff, A very good idea about athletes representing themselves and not their country. Apart from the points you raise, it also has the added benefits of ridding the world of the boganesque, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, …” (you know the rest). In addition, it means we won’t have to watch Channel Seven’s schmalzy faux nationalistic coverage. The third bonus, is that Mark Horton from Watford, England won’t be bombarded with abuse from Chinese swimming fans.

    The Chairman

  33. Mark Horton deserves what he gets. I bet if Mack had just won gold and not told racist truths about Sun pissing purple old Mark would have taken the garlands and sponsorship deals that (erroneously) came his way. But now the Middle Kingdom has put a fatwa on him he’s whingeing like an innocent pom. Sometimes you just gotta be dignified and take your licks. Think how the ageing couple Summer and Ben Laden of Youngstown Ohio feel. You don’t hear them complaining their house has been burnt down three times.

  34. Finally, have now discovered that not only was Tug of War in the modern Olympix from 1900 to 1920, but was also in the ancient Greek Olympix. I rest my case m’Lud.

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