Sunday, August 5, 2012

Synchronized sports

Apparently, the new mantra being followed by the International Olympic Committee is: If a sport is entertaining with one person doing it, then it's got to be better with two.

What could be more riveting than witnessing diver Greg Louganis win four golds and a silver? That would be watching Qin Kai and with his partner Luo Yutong take gold in synchronized diving.

Two, two, two men in one.

They were pretty good, I'll admit, splashing less liquid out of the pool than I do dropping an olive into a martini.

And speaking of water sports, I have a great deal of admiration for the women who participate in synchronized drowning. I can only imagine how hard it is to do leg scissors with pointed toes while your head is five feet below the surface. This is a sport clearly devised by an Eastern Block, thick-mustached, sadist swimming coach to punish his slowest students.

I noticed, by the way, that there are several channels on cable which are carrying the Olympics. One is dedicated to basketball, another to soccer. Then there's another that covers the stuff that's too obscure to make it onto NBC.

I saw horse jumping (which is actually called equestrian something or another) and watched for at least 15 minutes without seeing Ann Romney's horse. Quite a disappointment, for sure.

Flipping back to that channel, after watching USA's Dream Team crush Nigeria 156 to 73 (which, by the way, must have gotten a lot of attention in Nigeria because, for those two hours, I received no email offers to park $16 million from an exiled princess in my bank account), I caught a preliminary round of trampoline jumping.

I had no idea that trampolining is an Olympic sport. When I was a kid, the neighbor with a trampoline had the most frequented house by the ambulance service.

Tramp, as it's called by the Professional Trampoline Announcers Guild of America, has been an Olympic sport since the days the Games were held in the Parthenon. Only back then it was performed on a cotton sheet held by an out-of-work fire brigade. You see, when everyone's house is built out of stone, there's not much need for firefighters.

I watched Rosannagh MacLennan (not to go off on a tangent here, but a word of advice to parents having kids: Don't saddle them with ridiculous spellings of their names. Researchers have determined that it wastes upwards of seven months of their lives having to spell it out. My daughter, Gayle Alicen Hunt told me this.) from Canada win the gold medal.

I was focused in amazement as Rosanna (see how much easier that is?) was leaping at least a hundred or two hundred feet in the air performing all kinds of twisting jack knifes, backwards layouts, and triple axels.

Then it occurred to me: How much better would this sport be if six jumpers competed in synchronous? Six perfectly coordinated athletes executing precise maneuvers with the synchronicity of six Swiss watches.

They could even mix it up by jumping onto the next person's trampoline and the one on the end would jump over the other five, landing on the now open trampoline. Think of it as human juggling.

Wait a second...

I already saw this as a kid when I went to see the Greatest Show on Earth.

No way the International Olympic Committee would agree to sanction a Ringling Bros Circus act. That would be way under the dignity of the modern Olympic Games.

Nope. Scratch that idea. I'm off to watch rhythmic gymnastics.


  1. That's the funniest thing I've read in months. You give Dave Barry a run for his money.

  2. I assume you're aware that Dave Barry stopped writing his column a couple of years ago.

  3. Randy,
    Amidst my pride over being considered in your write up on synchronized swimming, and I am truly honored, I laughed my delicately positioned ass off while kicking my legs which were finished off with perfectly pointed toes. Boy, it's hard to be a competitive athlete!


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