Sports the IOC also rejected.
by Tony Wilson
The case of women ski jumpers not getting the chance to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics was the most public (and indeed the saddest) of the sports the IOC rejected this year. Having had their day in court, I confidently predict that one day soon, they will have their day in the air. But there were other sports that were also rejected by the IOC and won’t be seen in Vancouver or Whistler this month. These are a few of them.
Contact Grand Slalom. As boxing evolved into UFC, Grand Slalom has evolved into a contact sport where seven skiers and four snowboarders leave the gate at the same time; the goal being to get to the finish line first. And alone. Physical contact between athletes isn’t just permitted, it’s required. The addition of four snowboarders to each race makes the sport a more realistic fracas; accurately reflecting the experience of middle-aged skiers like me on a sunny Saturday afternoon on Vancouver’s local mountains. Gold is the only medal awarded, because, of course, if there’s a Silver or Bronze, the Gold Medal winner hasn’t done the best job of neutralizing the competition. Rumoured to be a demonstration sport in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
Men’s Luge Jumping. A two-man Luge traveling at 130 km per hour jumps (Evel Knievel style) over five cars manufactured in the host country. A demonstration sport in Sarajevo in 1984, Luge Jumpers from all over the world broke previous records (instead of their arms and legs) because they jumped over Yugos, a tiny car manufactured in whatever Yugoslavia called itself that year. In Salt Lake City, athletes were required to jump over Hummers, but as the Hummers were so big, and Luge accidents were so rampant, none of the athletes successfully completed the course to be awarded any medals at all. The sport was dropped in favour of the more environmentally friendly Motor-Skijöring, which is a variation of dog sledding, except that competitors ski behind a team of six skidoos burning bio-diesel.
Rollerderby Speed Skating. Just as it sounds, Rollerderby Speed Skating is an offshoot of its hard-hitting rollerblading cousin, only faster. Much faster. And just like Contact Grand Slalom, no medals are awarded for Silver or Bronze because the idea is to be the last man (or woman) skating. Very popular in Chile and South Korea, but unheard of since it was dropped for insurance reasons immediately after the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980.
Synchronized Snow Boarding. This sport, though popular in Sweden and other Skandahüvian countries, was not approved by the IOC on purely grammatical grounds. Like “Extreme Curling,” the IOC rejected this sport not because it wasn’t athletic or artistic enough, but because it was an oxymoron.
Winter Dressage. Dressage (for those of you who can’t be bothered to look it up) is an “equine sport” where the best riders receive Gold, Silver or Bronze for completing a jumping circuit on a horse. Winter Dressage is essentially “Dressage in the Snow,” but as a result of pressure from Animal Rights Lawyers at my firm, the medals are, quite rightly, awarded only to the horse.
IOC Baiting. This is a sport where residents of the host city put five car tires together in the shape of the Olympic Logo and see how long it takes the IOC’s lawyers to threaten trademark infringement lawsuits.
My favourite, though, was Olympic Ticket Purchasing. Contestants from all over the world sit in front of their computers for hours and hours (and hours) trying to buy tickets to any Olympic event in the host city. But they fail to get a thing.
I was so good at this sport, I deserve a medal.
Vancouver Franchise Lawyer Tony Wilson practices at Boughton Law Corporation in Vancouver, and has written for the Globe and Mail, Macleans Magazine and Canadian Lawyer. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.boughton.ca/people/lawyers/tony_wilson
This article was published in the February 2010 issue of BarTalk. © 2010 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.