Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Let's Move Some Summer Events To The Winter Olympics

About 8 years ago, I made a passionate complaint about the Torino Olympics.  I'm going to be honest, but I can't remember why I was so mad?  Whatever.

It is 2014 and I'm not dumping on the Sochi Games as everyone else wants to.  But one of my big complaints returns.  I mean, the snowy goodness of the Winter Games has it's special charm ... but these games just don't grab me like the Summer Games.  The problem is that there is just so much going on during the Summer Games to keep up.

Let's move some Summer stuff to the Winter.  Here is what I said back in 2006:
We have pretty much snowy events in the Winter Games.....and everything else gets to go to the Summer Games. Why? This is 2006...not the early 1900s when logistics was a much harder task. We don't even have REAL snow anymore, for crying out loud! So, move volleyball to the Winter Games. We still have beach volleyball in the Summer Games [and NBC loved showing it!]. So why not have the indoor volleyball event in the summer games? Really, hockey is the lone "team sport" in the Winter adding that could be beneficial. Maybe move boxing to the Winter Games as well. Boxing gets overlooked in the Summer Games and could soar in the Winter. Again, an indoor event so it matters not when it is held. Stuff like badmiton, ping-pong and weightlifting could also head over to the Winter Games. That doesn't work for every sport. Don't move gymnastics....because the Winter Games already have ice skating. Don't move basketball....because it would screw up every existing league in the world to make that move.

No, not everything can.  I also understand that it may be a bit tougher logistically than I first proposed.  Several Winter Games sites are smaller and are more resort towns that may not have all the venues to have too many indoor events.  The Summer Olympics are held in huge cities like London, Beijing, Athens, Sydney and, soon, Rio and Tokyo.  Still, I'd like to be able to see it possible to make something happen.

In 2010, we had the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  That is a city that could support having volleyball, wrestling or badminton there.  These Olympics have 98 events.  The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will have 306 events.  That means the Summer Games have 3.5 times as many events as the Winter Games in the same two week time frame.

If, say, weightlifting moved to the Winter Games ... that would mean 15 events would move.  Boom!  That means 291 Summer and 113 Winter events.  What if boxing moved to the Winter?  There's another 13 events changing hands.  I love watching Olympic boxing but it can get lost among the swimming, track, basketball and beach volleyball.  Plus moving some of those events to the Winter could open us back up to having baseball or, yes, tug of war back in the Summer Games.

This isn't a new idea.  Ice hockey and figure skating used to be in the Summer Games.  Those two are the premiere events now in the Winter Games.  Granted, those two sports began before we had a Winter Games, but it can obviously work.

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