Joke sports are games that are poor substitutes for traditional athletic endeavors that bring out the best in human achievement with an underlying purpose to the event. It is not implied that there is no athletic ability required for success at the highest levels, only that the events detract from other events.
The inclusion of many joke sports in the 2012 Summer Olympics detracted from the serious events, and the sharp reduction in American interest in the Olympics after 2012 may be due to the inclusion of joke sports. Some joke sports are inspired by political correctness; others are simply due to a lobbying effort by people who stand to gain from their inclusion.
The lamestream media publicize joke sport winners more than world records set in real sports, which distorts the legitimacy of the Olympics. Also, the format used for at least one of the joke sports below (badminton) resulted in an expulsion of several teams from the 2012 Summer Olympics, which caused embarrassment to the entire Olympics. At one point the Olympics Committee even planned to exclude wrestling, which is one of the most strenuous and authentic sports (and which dates back several hundred years before Jesus Christ, one could say the sport began when Jacob grappled with the Angel of God), so that less manly sports could be included instead (in an unusual display of unity, the United States, its mortal enemy Iran, and Russia—the latter two being traditionally strong in the sport—protested the plan, which was not implemented).
Examples of possible joke sports include:
- Aerial skiing
- Beach volleyball
- BMX cycling
- Rhythmic gymnastics
- Mogul skiing
- Halfpipe Snowboarding
- Olympic Soccer
- Synchronized swimming
- Table tennis
Of course, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is constantly being lobbied by sports executives who would gain funding and prestige if their sport were included in the Olympic Programme. To respond to these pressure groups without admitting even more sports into the games, the IOC created a "half-way" status of "recognized sports federation." There are currently 68 sport federations recognized by IOC. Over half of those administer sports in the Summer and Winter Games. But the 31 members of Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) administer sports that are not a part of the Olympics. Some of these sports, such as motor sports, are ineligible from ever being a part of the Olympics because the Olympic Charter excludes motor sports. The ARISF members nonetheless receive funding from the IOC and the national Olympic committees.
Notes and references
- Though volleyball is by no means a joke sport, and beach volleyball involves the difficulty of moving quickly in beach sand, the sport is included to draw attention to attractive, barely-clothed athletes, mainly females.
- Strangely no similar call has been made to include auto racing, even though Formula 1 racing has an international following.
- Included mainly because the event is popular among extremely wealthy liberal elites who have no athletic ability at all.
- Though soccer is not a "joke" sport, it is universally recognized that soccer's World Cup is the crowning achievement of international competition in this sport, and inclusion has not elevated its competition to the level of the World Cup.
- International federations. olympic.org. Retrieved on Aug 13, 2012.
- ARISF - Members. arisf.org. Retrieved on Aug 13 2012.
- Olympic Charter. Retrieved on Aug 13, 2012.