So, it looks like we lost wrestling from the Olympics, in favor of Synchronized Pole-Dancing, or whatever it is they’re up to nowadays. Because wrestling shouldn’t be a “core sport,” but Tae Kwon Do should? The Olympics are a mess, because everybody wants their two-bit sport or game included, and in the process, modernity is crowding out what the Olympics ought to be standing for, with the classic events being shoehorned out because the IOC has to coldly calculate what will get the ratings.
Screw that noise. We can do better than that. Here at Chez Happycrow, we propose something different. The Olympian Games.
Frequency: it’s to be held every five years, and you can’t compete if your country is engaged in hostilities during the games.
Competition: it’s restricted to sports, and very specific ones. No talent contests or other events that are judged purely on aesthetics. Sport isn’t about showing up at a talent show. Sports are about cutting the other guy’s heart out. That’s why they don’t show Olympic Ballroom Dancing in the official video.
Stable Events: it’s held in Olympia, and includes ancient events performed in the ancient styles only. None of this “every country trying to get the games IT happens to be good at in while shutting everybody else’s out” business. Much as we at Chez Happycrow think longsword and heavy sabre fencing would make for fun times, no.
No weight classes, no age or gender divisions. The events are the events, period. Equipment is minimal and standardized — no equestrian events that are financially out of reach of 99.44% of the entire world’s population. If you can get there (and your nation isn’t at war), you can compete. In deference to modern mores, throw on a speedo. You’re a woman and tough enough to mix it up? Go for it. Throw on a sports bra, and get in there. Just the basics, and gear-to-train is as cheap as it gets.
Come as you are, compete as you can.
- One athlete, one coach. None of this crap about entourages that outnumber the competitors. That one guy is your coach, masseur, nutritionist, drinking body, whatever else. The coach wears a sandwich-placard with the name, country, and flag of his athlete.
- Doping: we don’t care. Sic transit gloria mundi. If you care about the games so much that you’ll risk shortening your life to get a leg up… you go for it, buddy. But this ain’t cycling: skill plays a significant role in these events, and just having a physical edge isn’t going to cut it.
Media gets to stay in their media space, thoughtfully rented to them by… the people who live in Olympia. I expect a bloody free-for-all and bribes aplenty. It’s their bloody games, mate. You bet they’re gonna make a buck off you.
Here’s the events.
- Running the stade. It’s run in heats. Last runners standing duel it out at the end to see who’s fastest.
- Discus: standardized weight, for distance
- Javelin: Everybody uses the same javelins. It’s an accuracy competition at long range. Three throws, closest to the center of the target wins. Ties are determined by a throw-off amongst the winners until one person comes out on top.
- Jumping: Long jump, stone weights allowed.
- Wrestling: Competitors matched by lots in single elimination until there’s a winner. No striking, biting, or attacks to the groin. Broken fingers legal, just like in the old days. All wrestling to be done upright-style: you’re trying to THROW your competitor. Three falls wins. Your style of wrestling comes from Mongolia rather than Iran? We don’t care.
The Heavy Events
Armored Running: Ten stade lengths in a bronze helmet and breastplate simulator (with leather side panels to allow for easier sizing). Various sizes to be provided by the officials for fit, all breastplates will weigh the same. You’re going for speed, strength, and endurance, wearing gear that is trying its damndest to give you heat-stroke. Run in timed heats until one winner emerges.
Boxing: Competitors matched by lots in single elimination until there’s a winner. Cestus mandatory (leather thongs, not that Roman gladiator shit with the blades and concrete), and will be provided by the officials. Eye and groin strikes are illegal. It goes until you either can’t box any more, or you admit that the other guy’s beaten you. YOUR style of boxing happens to look like Tibetan White Crane? We don’t care.
Pankration: Competitors matched by lots in single elimination until there’s a winner. Cestus optional. This is the original “mixed martial arts”: no biting, eye strikes, or groin pulls, everything else is legal. You happen to do wushu? Catch-wrestling? Muay Thai? Whatever you happen to call your collection of techniques, do it in the Pankration. It goes until submission, or until the judges declare a winner or tie.
And there’s one extra rule, in the spirit of the pentathlon:
ALL athletes compete in ALL events.
No specialization: you wanna compete, you have to be athlete enough to eat the whole enchilada, and fit enough not to simply wear out after the second day. You overtrain, you lose. Just showing up to compete is an act of raw physical bravery that no smack-talking couch potato can contest. That’s why the “heavy” events that are injury-prone come at the tail end of the games. Whoever wins the most contests wins. In the very unlikely event that there are ties and four athletes each take two events — that’s what happens. Each of them takes home the prize.
What’s the prize, you ask? An olive wreath. And the adoration of billions.