Organisers of the London Olympics have decided to make a late change to their plans and change their logo. In a surprising news Sebastian Coe has decided that a change of logo is need to really capture the essence of London. Speaking at a corporate lunch earlier today Coe talked about the new logo.
“We felt the old logo didn’t really capture the feeling of London. I can say proudly that this new logo really seems up the people of London at this time.”
Apparently, people at the lunch were excited about the new logo, the only dampener being that all of the chairs for the function had been stolen earlier in the day by a group of young thieves.
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Readers of this blog will know I am a fan of the Olympics. During the Beijing Games I wrote extensively on my own impressive Olympics exploits ( here ). So today’s news that the Olympic movement has just announced two new sports have been added to the 2012 Summer Games is exciting news for me. The Olympic Committee has decided to add Rugby Sevens and Golf to the list of the sporting extravaganza known as the Olympics. I am pleased as I am a dab hand at mini putt and this latest decision opens the doors for your truly to take part in the 2012 games.
Firstly, as New Zealanders, let’s rejoice in the latest decision. Surely out of the sports that we could have been voted in these two help New Zealand the most. Other sports on the waiting list vote were karate, squash, softball, roller-skating and baseball. Clearly the sports that New Zealand favours have come through.
Our Sevens team is one of the best in the world, although that title has been a little less sure over the last few years. Despite this you would assume the big boys, reconditioning in the All Blacks camp, would come out for the Olympics.
Golf is also a game we do okay in, although I have mixed views about the inclusion of Golf. Once again it does appeal to the average man as most people have tried their best to mimic Tiger at their local course. The problem I see is that Golf at the elite level is very different to the golf the average man plays. Therefore, I believe selected measures need to be added to golf to stop it becoming elitist. Firstly, each person must carry a chilli bin filled with beverage of some sort. This beverage must be no less than 3 litres and must be consumed by the beginning of the back nine. Competitors would not be able to stop for a toilet stop and choosing beer would give you a 5 stroke head start. Secondly, no player could bring his own clubs, you would have to hire them from Olympic Committee. Just like down at your local course these clubs would be a collection of clubs from the last 30 of manufacturing, different sizes and a mixture of both left and right-handed. Lets see how good Tiger is then!!! Alternatively, my suggestion is to go with the Mini Putt theme. Each hole could present a different country and I believe with some planning some of the holes would be fantastic. It would also ensure that the facility is used post Olympics as this has been a problem in past years.
Despite these sports helping New Zealand we need to look at things on a broader scale. Choosing a new sport at the Olympics is not just a giant lolly scramble where sports are traded like baseball cards. Instead they are carefully chosen on their advertising values, their sex appeal and their popularity. Why else would we have sports like beach volleyball in the current mix. Therefore by selecting Sevens Rugby and Golf I think the Olympic committee have missed an opportunity to add some real sports to the list.
Personally I would have added Karate to the list. This would have then meant we had Karate. Judo, Taekwondo, and Boxing all represented. In a world of violence this gives our humans with ‘the violence gene’ the ability to partake. If Karate had been included the next year we could go for WWF Wrestling a few years later and the picture would be complete. After all of the medals have been found they could have a Gala evening like they do in gymnastics. I would encourage a giant fight to the last man standing. It would be like finding the best fighter in the world.
Alternatively the Olympic Committee could have really used this as a chance to connect with the average man. That is why I would have included Darts, Horse Racing and Lounge Pool. No man in the world has not played a little pool, tried his hand at darts at some time , while the Olympic Committee could have made a fortune in betting off the horse racing. By including these sports the Olympics would have formed a link with the common man. Currently some of the best sportsmen in the world play darts. These men take their sport seriously, spending hours developing the body need for such a demanding sport. Who would say that Andy Fordham is not in prime physical condition??
I will concluded this by saying that it is also time to take the knife to a view sports in the Olympic movement. Sadly, the Olympics seems to be growing like a teenage zit and somebody somewhere must stand up and squeeze the excess pus into the waiting mirror. Synchronized swimming, while incredibly hard as I gave it a go last night in the bath, still doesn’t do it for me at the Olympics. What about handball, sure a few European nations play it but apart from that nobody knows any of the rules. I could include modern pentathlon, rythmic gymnastics, beach volleyball, tennis, football to the list of sports that need the gentle squeeze.
Not happy at just cutting a few sports I believe that it is also time to cut the requirements in a couple of sports to even up the field. Take Michael Phelps, a superb athlete who won a bucketful of gold medals at the last games. He can enter the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 400m freestyle and then about 30 different types of relays. On the other hand the Evers Swindall twins and Valerie Vili can enter only have a chance of winning one gold medal in their respective events. The solution is easy. Either force swimmers to enter only one event and therefore even the field. I think a better option is to add the 500m, 1000m and 1500, events to the rowing programme and the 4kg, 8kg and 12kg shot-put category to the athletics programme.
So you can see I have mixed emotions on the latest Olympic news. Yes, Rugby Sevens and Golf could be good for New Zealand’s chances of winning more gold medals in 2012. However, the Olympic Committee has wasted the perfect chance to get rid of a few sports and even up the playing field a little. Either way come 2012 I will either be in the New Zealand contingent with my putter at the ready or at home enjoying the exploits on TV