Gymnastics, And Other Olympic Thoughts

Americans Nastia Liuksin and Shawn Johnson took gold and silver in the women’s all-around competition last night despite what seemed to be some shady judging.

I say that to introduce the main point of this post: gymnastics is not a sport.

Don’t get me wrong—gymnasts are amazing athletes. I consider myself to be fairly athletic, and I can’t do even the easiest parts of most gymnastic routines.

But here’s the problem: any sport whose winner is determined by the selective opinion of a group of people, is not a sport (that would include other athletic events as well, including some I really enjoy like platform diving).

How does a real sport determine a winner? Through objectivity. Fastest time, greatest distance, most runs scored. Officials are a part of sports, but their job should be to make sure that rules are followed, not to choose who the winner is.

• • •

What do Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Togo and Tunisia have in common? They’ve all won more Olympic medals thus far than our beloved neighbor to the north. Canada has yet to grace the medal platform a single time.

I know it can get cold up there, but surely they could find a heated pool somewhere and practice swimming laps or something, right?


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