Victor Tanti: Game for anything in 2020 vision - but what should and shouldn’t be featured in the Olympics?

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Australian divers Robert Newbery and Mathew Helm during during their men’s 10m synchronised platform routine at Athens 2004, which earnt them bronze.
Camera IconAustralian divers Robert Newbery and Mathew Helm during during their men’s 10m synchronised platform routine at Athens 2004, which earnt them bronze. Credit: Darren Pateman DJP/Fairfax, Darren Pateman DJP

The trouble with professional sports is they’re ... professional.

When a company, usually a media outlet, is making money from a sport, they then need to make even more money.

What follows, for example, is 18 instead of 12 AFL teams, a lengthened Big Bash cricket season and the ever-diminishing value of the Olympics.

Oh, I mean the Summer Games. Watching Norwegians fall down mountains at Winter Games is of no consequence to most Australians.

The Olympic motto, Citius, Altius, Fortius means Faster, Higher, Stronger — simple when applied to objectively assessed results.

For instance, the 100m sprints will be won by the runner who finishes first. Judges won’t consider style or deduct points for poor dress sense.

The Olympics are also supposed to be about a sport’s elite gathered in one place.

Soccer, therefore, shouldn’t be at the Olympics, as it’s a mostly under-23 competition.

Yes, it’s the world game and the acting can be superb, but the best players dream of the World Cup (which, to continue the theme, is to be expanded from 32 to 48 teams).

The Olympics should be the ultimate, so see ya tennis and golf.

Would any tennis or golf player, respectively, value Olympic gold above winning Wimbledon or the US Masters?

Ditto for baseball.

Then there’s a sport’s variants.

I like boxing — it does have a chequered Olympic past with some “interesting” decisions, but you get that with boxing.

Judo was added in 1964, taekwondo in 2000 and karate this year. OK, what about kung fu, bare-knuckle boxing, jujitsu or Muay Thai?

Where does one stop?

Rugby is my favourite form of football (though AFL is the best to watch), but does it belong at the Games when it’s seven-a- side?

I think not.


Way better since elite players took part from 1992, but now 3-on-3 basketball has been added. It’s a 5-on-5 game.

Anything else is a novelty.

Cycling was just road and track. Since 1996, mountain biking and two forms of BMX have been added.

The event count is up from 10 to 22.

Diving was immutable from 1928-1996, with medals for men’s and women’s platform and springboard diving. Then came synchronised diving.

Really? Go away — and the same to synchronised swimming.

To show how silly this has become, breakdancing will be part of the 2024 Games.

If you’re going to have dance, it should be ballroom dancing, where there are strict rules on interpretation.

But again, where do you stop?

Why not line dancing (at least the music is better) or ballet or jazz, belly dancing, pole dancing or Irish dancing?

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