Ice Fishing for the Olympics-Yes!
Newcastle — In consideration of things farcical, the Olympic Games spring quickly to mind. There is the (overwhelming) political aspect with countries savagely competing for the opportunity to waste enormous sums of money. An exception, as you recall, was the Salt Lake City games where Mitt Romney turned disaster into profit. (That is why he lost the recent presidential election. Can’t have a grand leader who knows how to manage money.) Whatever is London going to do with that huge stadium they built for the 2012 Games at a cost of more than a half billion dollars? There is a plan of renting it to the West Ham United football club, although the stadium is the wrong size and the wrong shape, and that may in fact happen in 2016. But what sort of rental agreement could possibly dent that original cost?
Are you aware that the London stadium was constructed with a removable roof? The roof was imposed to remove any threat to record-setting performances in the sprints or the leaps which might otherwise have been invalidated as zephyr-aided. What nonsense. But why removable? I’m guessing that the Brits want an open air stadium. Makes sense; it never rains in London. Or perhaps the Brit fans are just more comfortable when they’re getting soaked.
As for the athletes themselves, there have been more than a few bizarre entries. Who can forget the Jamaican bobsled team or Eddy the Eagle? The latter competed, extremely ineptly, as a Great Britain entry in ski jumping in the 1988 Olympics. He was the cause of ensuing regulations requiring minimum competence levels for participation. I recall brouhaha over a winning weight lifter who caused protests from the others in his weight class because he had no legs. Similarly, there’s “Oz Pistorius, the fastest man on no legs.” I don’t believe anybody complained about his carbon fiber “Flex-foot Cheetahs” (rhymes with “cheaters” as pronounced by a Down Easter) when he competed in the London Olympics. In fact he was sort of a hero until he recently stretched credibility by claiming “unknown intruder” to justify pumping lead through his locked bathroom door and killing his girlfriend.
There is ongoing lobbying for inclusion or removal of Olympic Events. Recently, astonishingly, wrestling got the axe. What is more quintessentially Olympian than Greco-Roman wrestling? So it joins other evicted competitions such as baseball, golf, tug-of-war, one-handed weight lifting, obstacle swimming, rope climb, plunge diving, and (my favorite) all around dumbbell. I predict wrestling will be reinstated.
One of the pretenders striving for addition is bowling. It even made it as a demonstration sport in 1988. Please! Last week in the New York Times I saw that ice fishing is proposed for Olympic winter competition. Let’s think about this. We might redesign the ice hockey venue to have the ice surface over water (as a lake) and stock the lake for the competing anglers. That shouldn’t add much expense to the fifty billion bucks the Russians are spending for the upcoming Winter Games. It could be a real crowd pleaser, brimming with action.
Alas, doping has cast a shadow over many of the Olympic events. We are taking stern measures here. The same New York Times article noted that at the recent World Ice Fishing Championships in Wassau, Wisconsin, the winners were escorted back to their hotel suites where an official from the United States Anti-Doping Agency ordered them to provide urine samples for a surprise test to detect steroids and growth hormones. This may seem a bit silly, but there’s the off chance that someone might be on a performance-enhancing drug to help him haul in more crappies. Bear in mind, in 2011, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency, two minigolfers, and one chess player tested positive, as did two bowlers, eight roller sport athletes and one tug-of-war competitor. So OK; bring on ice fishing! On to Sochi!