Monday, January 11, 2016

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2004 Summer Games — Athens, Greece

1st: United States112.78
2nd: Russia112.7
3rd: Italy112.13
4th: Norway58.22
5th: Czech Republic56.67
6th: Germany56.07
7th: France55.65
8th: Ukraine44.54
9th: Japan43.88
10th: Communist China41.25




Event

Pros

Cons

Rating (out of 10)

Winner




Archery — Individual Archery

Aim at something and shoot it. This is a contest of strength as well as aim.





Italy




Archery — Team Archery

Same as above.

Team sport, plus we already have a real archery medal.





Korea, South




Athletics — 109 yards

"World's Fastest Man" title on the line.





United States




Athletics — 120 yard Hurdles

Okay, there could be hurdles between you and your destination.

If you're going to have obstacles, go all the way with the Steeplechase.





Communist China




Athletics — 219 yards

Event pollution between the 109 yards and the marathon.





United States




Athletics — 437 yards

More event pollution.





United States




Athletics — 437 yard Hurdles

Still not the steeplechase.





Dominican Republic




Athletics — 875 yards

More event pollution.





Russia




Athletics — 1640 yards

More event pollution.





Morocco




Athletics — 3281 yard Steeplechase

As good a simulation as we have of getting from Point A to Point B.





Kenya




Athletics — 5468 yards

More event pollution.





Morocco




Athletics — 10936 yards

More event pollution.





Ethiopia




Athletics — 4x109 yards

The country with the top 4 fastest men.

Team sport.





Great Britain




Athletics — 4x437 yards

Seems redundant.





United States




Athletics — Decathlon

This guy can do it all. He is the World's Greatest Athlete.

None.





Czech Republic




Athletics — Marathon

Fastest man over distance.





Italy




Athletics — 12.43 mile Walk

Well, it is purely speed-based...

...But why is this even here? We don't have one-legged races. Or races where people run backwards. Why have any restrictions on how you get there? Especially one that leads to such a fruity gait.





Italy




Athletics — 31.1 mile Walk

See above.

See above.





Poland




Athletics — Long Jump

A nice, simple question: who can jump the farthest?





United States




Athletics — Triple Jump

Perversion of the long jump with a bunch of silly rules.





Sweden




Athletics — High Jump

Who can jump the highest?





Sweden




Athletics — Pole Vault

Who can jump the highest...

...with a pole, for some reason.





United States




Athletics — Shot Put

See that 16 pound ball? Throw it as far as you can!





Ukraine




Athletics — Discus

Another distance throw.

We already have the shotput. Plus this only weighs 4 pounds, 7 ounces.





Lithuania




Athletics — Javelin

Wikipedia describes this as "a polearm used as a hand-hurled missile weapon".





Norway




Athletics — Hammer

Basically a shotput at the end of a 4-foot pole.

Same as the shotput, plus some mechanical advantage. Normally that would cost points, but think how much clobbering could be done with this thing! (And in Scotland, men do this in kilts. Yeah.)





Japan




Badminton — Singles

One-on-one, mano-a-mano contest.

It's badminton.





Indonesia




Badminton — Doubles

Well you still have to beat somebody.

It's badminton AND it's one of those "team" things.





Korea, South




Baseball — Baseball

A chance to see some kids who could be in The Show at some point.

The real men aren't playing. They're busy playing where it counts.





Cuba




Basketball — Basketball

One team against one other team.

Again, there's a big sports league that plays this for real. Plus, there's women's basketball at the Olympics. Point loss there.





Argentina




Boxing — Light Flyweight

Pounding the tar out of your opponent! Yes!

But this is like an award for the prettiest girl at an ugly contest. We don't care for arbitrary restrictions, so we only care about the unlimited weight class.





Cuba




Boxing — Flyweight

See above.

See above.





Cuba




Boxing — Bantamweight

See above.

See above.





Cuba




Boxing — Featherweight

See above.

See above.





Russia




Boxing — Lightweight

See above.

See above.





Cuba




Boxing — Light Welterweight

See above.

See above.





Thailand




Boxing — Welterweight

See above.

See above.





Kazakhstan




Boxing — Middleweight

See above.

See above.





Russia




Boxing — Light Heavyweight

See above.

See above.





United States




Boxing — Heavyweight

See above.

See above.





Cuba




Boxing — Super Heavyweight

This is the only real boxing event. This guy could take anybody at the Games.

None at all.





Russia




Canoeing / Rowing — Canoeing Flatwater One-Man 547 yards

A sprint on the water: a man and his oar, in perfect harmony.

Splitting points with kayaking, because we don't need both.





Germany




Canoeing / Rowing — Canoeing Flatwater One-Man 1094 yards

Splitting points with kayaking.





Spain




Canoeing / Rowing — Canoeing Flatwater Two-Man 547 yards

"Oh, I need some help paddling my canoe..." Splitting points with kayaking.





Communist China




Canoeing / Rowing — Canoeing Flatwater Two-Man 1094 yards

Splitting points with kayaking.





Germany




Canoeing / Rowing — Kayaking Flatwater One-Man 547 yards

A sprint on the water: a man and his oar, in perfect harmony.

Splitting points with canoeing, because we don't need both.





Canada




Canoeing / Rowing — Kayaking Flatwater One-Man 1094 yards

More event pollution. Splitting points with canoeing.





Norway




Canoeing / Rowing — Kayaking Flatwater Two-Man 547 yards

"Oh, I need some help paddling my kayak..." Splitting points with canoeing.





Germany




Canoeing / Rowing — Kayaking Flatwater Two-Man 1094 yards

More event pollution. Splitting points with canoeing.





Sweden




Canoeing / Rowing — Kayaking Flatwater Four-Man 1094 yards

More event pollution. Splitting points with canoeing.





Hungary




Canoeing / Rowing — Canoeing One-Man Slalom

Like the previous event, but with steering.

Steering is overrated. Also splitting with kayaking.





France




Canoeing / Rowing — Canoeing Two-Man Slalom





Slovakia




Canoeing / Rowing — Kayaking One-Man Slalom





France




Canoeing / Rowing — Rowing Single Sculls

Singles.

The guys here have TWO oars instead of one. Obviously worthy of another round of medals for everybody. Oh wait, it isn't.





Norway




Canoeing / Rowing — Rowing Coxless Pair

See above.





Australia




Canoeing / Rowing — Rowing Double Sculls

See above.





France




Canoeing / Rowing — Rowing Lightweight Double Sculls

"Lightweight"? You're joking.





Poland




Canoeing / Rowing — Rowing Coxless Four

Are we there yet? There appear to be 20 different ways to paddle across a pond. There aren't 20 different ways that anybody cares about...





Great Britain




Canoeing / Rowing — Rowing Quadruple Sculls

See above.





Russia




Canoeing / Rowing — Rowing Eight

There's something to be said for putting together the fastest thing on the water.

There are women's versions of all these, you know. These guys are lucky to be getting all these points.





United States




Canoeing / Rowing — Rowing Lightweight Coxless Four

Lightweight. And they expect points.





Denmark




Cycling — Road Race

Uses local terrain. No stupid track games: everybody starts at the same spot, and the winner is the first to finish.

Shared by all cycling events: Stupid hats. Spandex. Contributes to "Lance Armstrong Syndrome", which causes sufferers to dress this way and parade around town.





Italy




Cycling — Road Time Trial

One-at-a-time race against the clock. Seems unnecessarily boring, doesn't it?





United States




Cycling — Track Individual Pursuit

One of those track gimmicks, where you can't tell who's ahead. No reason for this event.





Great Britain




Cycling — Track Team Pursuit

Same as above, but with a team! I honestly don't understand why cycling is a team sport at all.





Australia




Cycling — Track Individual Sprint

If there's a sprint, ++points.





Australia




Cycling — Track Team Sprint

Except:

Help! The AIR is slowing me down! I'm going to get right up behind you, hold still...





Germany




Cycling — Track 0.62 mile Time Trial

boooorrinng. And what an arbitrary distance.





Great Britain




Cycling — Track Points Race

VERY complicated scoring. Scoring? It's a RACE.





Russia




Cycling — Track Keirin

There's a sprint at the end.

There's a pacer in this one. Go fast, but not too fast. hmm.





Australia




Cycling — Track Madison

This team event makes sense, at least: two teammates swap off as they get tired.

Tired? How about we just wait until all the cyclists collapse, and then see who got the farthest.





Australia




Cycling — Mountain Cross Country

Real-world usefulness. Not a duplicate of previous events. Nice!

Still exacerbates Lance Armstrong Syndrome.





France




Diving — 3.3 yard Springboard

None.

Gracefulness in men's athletics should be a side-effect of getting something done. It certainly shouldn't exist for its own sake.





Communist China




Diving — 10.9 yard Platform

None.





Communist China




Diving — Synchronized 3.3 yard Springboard

None.

Men's... synchronized... diving. I had to rewrite the code here to allow for negative scores.





Greece




Diving — Synchronized 10.9 yard Platform

None.





Communist China




Fencing — Epee Individual

It's swordfighting. Cool. Epee is based on dueling where the first to draw blood wins.

First blood was developed to avoid killing the other guy.





Switzerland




Fencing — Epee Team

Team... Well, think of it like the Three Musketeers, or something.





France




Fencing — Foil Individual

Based on the sidearm of the 18th-century gentleman.

Complicated rules about hitting with "right of way" and "priority".





France




Fencing — Foil Team

Team again.





Italy




Fencing — Sabre Individual

Unlike the others, can score with a swipe of the weapon.

"Right of way" etc.





Italy




Fencing — Sabre Team

Team again.





France




Field Hockey — Field Hockey

You don't have ice in the summer, so I guess this is the best that can be done.

It's a girls' game.





Australia




Gymnastics — Floor Exercise

Is this the one with music? And props? And a lot of prancing and dancing around a big mat? Pass.





Canada




Gymnastics — High Bar

These guys get some impressive speed and height above the ground when they flip around this 9-foot-high bar.

Judging. Judging in itself has some serious problems. And if an event requires judging to declare a winner, then is it really a sport? Or has it become "art"?





Italy




Gymnastics — Parallel Bars

Impressive strength required to do this.

See above.





Ukraine




Gymnastics — Pommel Horse

Requires more technique, and less strength, than parallel bars or rings.





Communist China




Gymnastics — Rings

You've got to be Much Man to hold an Iron Cross or similar for any length of time.





Greece




Gymnastics — Vault

The girls also do this one.





Spain




Gymnastics — Artistic Team

A little of each of the other Pros.

A little of each of the other Cons, plus "Team".





Japan




Gymnastics — Trampoline

"Girls Jumping on Trampolines" is good...

...but unfortunately this is its opposite.





Ukraine




Gymnastics — Artistic All-Around

A little of each of the other Pros.

A little of each of the other Cons.





United States




Handball — Handball

Better than soccer because you can use your hands.

There's a women's version. And it's like soccer.





Croatia




Judo — <= 132 pounds

Two guys in combat, so you've got a pretty good start there.

Again, we only care about the unlimited weight category.





Japan




Judo — <= 146 pounds

See above.





Japan




Judo — <= 161 pounds

See above.





Korea, South




Judo — <= 179 pounds

See above.





Greece




Judo — <= 198 pounds

See above.





Georgia




Judo — <= 220 pounds

See above.





Belarus




Judo — > 220 pounds

It's a "fight" until one guy surrenders.

It translates to "gentle way". It's based on grappling. Along with the other Far Eastern "fighting" methods, comes packaged with a lot of nutty philosophy.





Japan




Modern Pentathlon — Modern Pentathlon

Epee, pistol, and (kind of) cross-country.

Swimming and show jumping. Swimming means these guys are leg-shavers. And doing something for "show" in an athletic event? This isn't gymnastics...





Russia




Ping Pong — Singles

Ping-pong is a great game. It requires lightning-quick reflexes, and it's a blast to play. (Okay, maybe I'm biased towards ping-pong, but it's my site.)

But where does it fall on this scale, compared to the decathlon, or archery, or shotput.





Korea, South




Ping Pong — Doubles

See above.

See above, plus it's a team.





Communist China




Shooting — 10.9 yard Air Pistol

Marksmanship. One of the few Olympic skills that would still be useful in modern combat.

An air pistol? At 10 yards? The women do this one.





Communist China




Shooting — 27.3 yard Rapid Fire Pistol

Rapid fire. Yeah baby. No women's equivalent.





Germany




Shooting — 54.7 yard Pistol

The purest precision shooting event.





Russia




Shooting — 10.9 yard Air Rifle

An airgun. At 10 yards. And the girls do this one.





Communist China




Shooting — 54.7 yard Rifle Prone

You may need to hide and shoot at the same time!

If you have Three Positions, you don't really need this one.





United States




Shooting — 54.7 yard Rifle Three Positions

Prone. Standing. Kneeling. This guy can shoot you any way he likes.





Communist China




Shooting — Trap

They don't use real birds. And why Trap when you can Double Trap? And until recently, Trap, Double Trap, and Skeet were a single mixed-sex competition.





Russia




Shooting — Double Trap

They don't use real birds. And until recently, Trap, Double Trap, and Skeet were a single mixed-sex competition.





United Arab Emirates




Shooting — 10.9 yard Running Target

The guy you're trying to shoot may not be holding still. These athletes are prepared for that. Plus, the girls don't do this one.

An airgun. At 10 yards.





Germany




Shooting — Skeet

See above.

A woman won the last mixed skeet competition...





Italy




Soccer — Soccer

A bunch of guys lightly jogging around. No particular skill involved, except pretending to be hurt. And they're not allowed to use their hands because... Socialists like arbitrary rules? I really don't know.





Argentina




Swimming — 54.7 yard Freestyle

World's Fastest Swimmer. Not as great as World's Fastest Man, but it's something.

Body shaving. Fruity swimsuits.





United States




Swimming — 109 yard Freestyle

We don't need anything but the 54.7-yard and the marathon. Plus these guys are shavers.





Netherlands




Swimming — 219 yard Freestyle

See above.





Australia




Swimming — 437 yard Freestyle

See above.





Australia




Swimming — 1640 yard Freestyle

See above.





Australia




Swimming — 109 yard Backstroke

Why do we care what stroke they use? All that matters is who's fastest, right? We don't have footraces where you have to do a jumping jack between each step, or do pirouettes or anything. That would be stupid.





United States




Swimming — 219 yard Backstroke

See above.





United States




Swimming — 109 yard Butterfly

See above.





United States




Swimming — 219 yard Butterfly

See above.





United States




Swimming — 109 yard Breaststroke

See above.





Japan




Swimming — 219 yard Breaststroke

See above.





Japan




Swimming — 219 yard Medley

See above.





United States




Swimming — 437 yard Medley

See above.





United States




Swimming — 4x109 yard Freestyle

The country with the top 4 fastest swimmers.

Team. And all 4 are shavers.





South Africa




Swimming — 4x219 yard Freestyle

More event pollution.





United States




Swimming — 4x109 yard Medley

Again, just because a swimmer is fast using an inefficient stroke does not make him a fast swimmer.





United States




Tae Kwon Do — <= 128 pounds

Lightweights...





Republic of China (Taiwan)




Tae Kwon Do — <= 150 pounds

See above.





Iran




Tae Kwon Do — <= 176 pounds

See above.





United States




Tae Kwon Do — > 176 pounds

It's two guys in combat.

Like the other Far East "fighting" styles, requires swallowing a lot of philosophical garbage about "peace", meditation, "tenets" of Taekwondo, and a lot of other BS.





Korea, South




Tennis — Singles

Like ping-pong, but you're standing on the table. Requires precision, strength, speed, agility, and brains. One-on-one competition.

The girls play it too.





Chile




Tennis — Doubles

See above.

Team.





Chile




Triathlon — Triathlon

Running. Definitely an endurance test.

Swimming (shaving), cycling (Spandex).





New Zealand




Volleyball — Normal

This is a girls' game.





Brazil




Volleyball — Beach

This one is definitely better when played by the ladies. Why is this on the men's side?





Brazil




Water Polo — Water Polo

Looks like a fun way to pass some time in the pool.

Serious competition? I just don't see it. (There's probably body-shaving, too.)





Hungary




Weightlifting — <= 123 pounds

A good old-fashioned test of strength.

A lightweight weightlifter is completely uninteresting.





Turkey




Weightlifting — <= 137 pounds

See above.





Communist China




Weightlifting — <= 152 pounds

See above.





Communist China




Weightlifting — <= 170 pounds

See above.





Turkey




Weightlifting — <= 187 pounds

See above.





Georgia




Weightlifting — <= 207 pounds

See above.





Bulgaria




Weightlifting — <= 231 pounds

See above.





Russia




Weightlifting — > 231 pounds

No judging, no "performance". Just strength, straight up.





Iran




Wrestling — Freestyle: Bantamweight

It's not the WWF, but it could still be entertaining.

Lightweights.





Russia




Wrestling — Freestyle: Featherweight

See above.





Cuba




Wrestling — Freestyle: Lightweight

See above.





Ukraine




Wrestling — Freestyle: Welterweight

See above.





Russia




Wrestling — Freestyle: Middleweight

See above.





United States




Wrestling — Freestyle: Heavyweight

See above.





Russia




Wrestling — Freestyle: Super heavyweight

It's like a fight.

But you can't punch the guy. And you have to wear some kind of weird skin-tight one-piece suit.





Uzbekistan




Wrestling — Greco-Roman: Bantamweight

Lightweights.





Hungary




Wrestling — Greco-Roman: Featherweight

See above.





Korea, South




Wrestling — Greco-Roman: Lightweight

See above.





Azerbaijan




Wrestling — Greco-Roman: Welterweight

See above.





Uzbekistan




Wrestling — Greco-Roman: Middleweight

See above.





Russia




Wrestling — Greco-Roman: Heavyweight

See above.





Egypt




Wrestling — Greco-Roman: Super heavyweight

It's like freestyle.

It's like freestyle, except with rules restricting the style. Why do we care how a guy is pinned?





Russia

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