The Bolt Games are coming to an end …… and some events need to go

Three days of competition left and then I can get back to a normal routine again. But Usain Bolt and David Rudisha were well worth waiting for last night. And behind David Rudisha in the 800m came two unheralded teenagers. What is left to say about Usain Bolt? The sprint double at successive Games is unprecedented and will not be repeated for a long time. From day one – and long before the athletics had even begun – it has been the Usain Bolt show even if the Team GB performance has been quite remarkable. Almost a fairy tale for the host nation. The organisation of the games has – to all appearances – been a great success. Journalists still look for negative stories but London has coped and coped quite easily. But London 2012 will be – should be – known as the Bolt Games.

Of course Usain Bolt has the 4 x 100m relay yet to come but that does not carry the majesty that the 100m and the 200m does. Rudisha vs. Bolt at the compromise distance of 400m could be interesting.

But – and without any disrespect to the proponents – there are far too many events which just don’t feel Olympian to me. I think I would prefer to see the emphasis on the performance of individuals. Faster, higher, stronger. All team events then feel wrong. This would remove football and hockey and volleyball and handball and basketball and beach volleyball. Even the doubles events in the racquet games would go (and do we really need three racquet games?). Wrestling and boxing are surely enough of the “combat sports” without having to suffer the judo and Tae-kwon-do bouts. Even wrestling has become quite unintelligible for the uninitiated. Pairs and fours in rowing could go. Events where performance is entirely subjective have no place here I think. This would remove artistic gymnastics and synchronised diving for example. And synchronised swimming would die a natural death if it was not an Olympic event. The equestrian events are interesting and dressage is an equine ballet that can be a joy to watch. But for riders to be feted for the performance of their horses seems a little ridiculous.

The Olympics must be the celebration of individual performance – I think – rather than team performances (with their nationalistic overtones).

Faster, Higher and Stronger!

And Tae-kwon-do, Wrestling, Judo, Water polo and all team events would be the first to go if I could choose.

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: