QT’s tribute to the Winter Pentathlon. Expect a paper, Google Scholar
You’ve heard it from old-school bros who grew up in a day when men were men and boys were scared. You’ve heard it from your girlfriend’s buzzing step-uncle. You’ve rationally defended it or drunkenly had its back. As long as women play sports or golf is televised or ESPN2 attracts the unemployed, rhetorical tradesman the world over will rely on the same phrase to denounce sporting credentials with:
It’s not even a sport
Boom! Legitimacy? limited. The mainstream? a dream. Case? closed.
You’ve know its hurt; officially enraptured by a So You Think You Can Dance marathon, surprised by a stumbling, hungover bro;
Dancing?!?! It’s not even a sport!
Embarrassing? Definitely. Most definitely embarrassing, however, is realizing you can’t rely on the official positions of the International Olympic Committee for cover.
YOU/ME: DanceSport is officially recognized by the IOC dude
BRO/ME: One word bro: Uncontested
As inspiration to all you pseudo-sports affixed with the word ball or sport*, stuck in IOC purgatory, waiting for that 70th country to appreciate you for just the way you combine the fundamental elements of popular sport, let me present to you the absurdity of the fantastical failures of failed Demonstration Sports: Winter Olympics Style. In descending order, of course:
3) Winter Pentathlon – 1948
Winter pentathlon was like the Jan Brady of 1948 Winter Olympic Demonstration Sports; totally overshadowed by the magnificence of its 1948 demo-twin, Military Patrol (Ian McKellen voice-over; You, my dear, know it by a different name; Biathlon. Da Vincied!!) The Winter Pentathlon’s Summer sister, and the older bro, let’s say the Greg Brady, decathlon are revered competitions that have been known to establish the greatest athlete on earth (when the victor is American) Plus, this guy! 34 years later!!
At least the hypothetical victors of the Winter Pentathlon were spared the terror of experiencing Bruce Jenners’ face as victors of the Winter Pentathlon. Probably wouldda been worse for them as victor peers
Honestly though, attempting to celebrate the human best equipped to handle the cold seems like a slam-dunk; entertaining, efficient, and effective entertainment. Unfortunately, the father of Winter Pentathlon had either 1) never experienced winter 2) shamelessly pandered to the Summer crowd or 3) metaphorically procreated with their metaphorical sister. The results:
Downhill Skiing – Hot
Cross-Country Skiing – Hot
Shooting – Cold
Horseback Riding – Really, very Cold
Fencing – Amputated due to ignorance
Thank goodness people aren’t actually developing that kind of skill-set though. Would be a bunch of villains straight outta Robin Hood
2) Bandy – 1952
Bandy could be described as Field Hockey on Ice, if Field Hockey on Ice were governed by the Rules of Soccer. Or Broomball with Skates, A Far Bigger Playing Surface, and an Intricately Designed Ball. Or, known here as; totally deserving of the number 2 spot. According to Wikipedia, Bandy is awesome and was actually introduced as a Demonstration sport at the Olympics 5 years before a World Championship was established. Unfortunately, Bandy failed to live up to the hype of the 1950s hype-racket, currently existing in widespread oblivion due to the Mash-Up Backlash from Collision Course and the overwhelming impracticalities of staging a match (an ice-ified soccer pitch?!?! Even cold Dubai wouldn’t be having that)
Get me a hot-tub time machine so I can invest in the disregard for Bandy bond!
1) Speed Skiing – 1992
To me, Vancouver 10’s lack of Demonstration Sports is nothing less than the end of imagination. Innovation, imagination, its all over. If life were an Archie comic, thought clouds would contain CSI: Miami and nothing else. Tragic, yes, but what else can explain Vancouver 10’s reprehensible lack of Speed Skiings? By simply isolating speed, Albertville theoretically created three new medals and the corresponding interest each little trinket demands within each competitor’s country. Give me one mile of ice and one mile of snow, flatten em, tilt em sideways and send down the skiers, snowboarders, biathletes, triathletes, short-trackers, long trackers, sliders and bob-sledders. Truly the epitome of Demonstration Sport. Case of the greatest fantastical demonstrative recreational activity with the potential to become an officially contested recreational activity, Failure Edition, Winter Remix; Closed.
*Seriously, there everywhere