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Snaking our way to a gold medal

February 17, 2013
By WES BURNS - Copy Editor (wburns@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Year of the Snake.

That's right, the Chinese New Year has come to pass. Sure, you might think that the New Year has already happened, what with the calendar changing and everything, but this year I have decided to use the Chinese calendar since I find it coincides nicely with when I finally stopped writing checks that say "2012."

Yes, I still write checks. But only to pay creditors I have grown to hate (student loans) and not in situations where presenting a checkbook earns you a chorus of "boos" from everyone behind you in line.

Since the New Year has started, in a snake-like manner, I suppose, the world around us has already shaken some of our most valued truths to the ground.

The Ravens won the Super Bowl, the Pope resigned (which I didn't even know was an option) and wrestling is no longer an Olympic sport.

Yeah. After a making an initial appearance in the 708 B.C. Olympics the sport of wrestling will no longer be included in the Olympics, making way for such beloved sports as wakeboarding, speed climbing and some vaguely defined umbrella term called "roller sports."

This is the total amount of knowledge I have pertaining to the sport of wrestling: Macho Man Randy Savage likes Slim Jims, that Mickey Rourke movie was really sad and wrestling is old. Real old. As in, The Book of Genesis old.

So why is the venerable International Olympic Committee (IOC) casting aside one of the original Olympic sports?

According to the IOC "blah blah blah, wrestling is boring, bring on the equestrian events!"

I do believe that was a direct quote.

If you read between the lines of the IOC's carefully worded statement what I believe you'll find is yet another attempt by our so-called allies in Switzerland to once again diminish American authority in the Olympic games.

First they took that most American/boring of sports, baseball, out of the Olympics in 2008. Then we wore those ridiculous berets in the 2012 games (the obvious effect of an international conspiracy). And now they want to take away wrestling in 2020? Yet in the 2016 games we'll have to sit through rugby and golf? Golf?

OK, I'll concede on baseball. There is no way you're going to get major league talent to stop playing in the middle of the summer to jet off to another country and play for an Olympic medal when they can just stay here in the United States and possibly win the World Series. That has to be better then a medal, it has "world" right in the title.

I say if the IOC is determined to take away wrestling, a sport in which the United States has won over a hundred medals, it must be replaced by another ancient sport that once found its home in the Olympics, a sport befitting the halls of Olympus itself.

Tug-of-War.

Introduced in the 1900 games and removed in the 1920 games Tug-of-War has everything a great Olympic sport needs: the equipment costs almost nothing (just rope and dignity) and you can play it pretty much anywhere and it simulates armed conflict in the most laughable manner possible. What's not to love?

If the IOC wants to take away wrestling then so be it. They can't stop us from winning; we're Americans, living large in the Year of the Snake, we'll find a way. And what should we do with a couple hundred Olympic-class wrestlers who suddenly find themselves with nothing but time on their hands? Sounds like a gold medal Tug-of-War team to me.

 
 

 

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