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August 22nd, 2008
Hap Mansfield’s Blog: The Olympic bikini party

The Olympics are thrilling to watch. It is jaw dropping to see the gymnasts and the divers and the track and field competitors exercise their awesome skills and ultra-fit bodies in the arena of play. But sometimes one is confused by what passes for sport.

I have nothing against people playing beach volleyball. I just don’t know how it passes for an Olympic sport while softball, a game requiring an equally, if not more, daunting set of skills, is going to be discontinued. It’s hard to imagine a sporting event that features synchronized swimming shunning the obvious athletic qualities of softball players.

Sure, beach volleyball and synchronized swimming are fun to watch. One wonders if it would be as much fun if the beach volleyball competitors wore basketball shorts and big t-shirts.

Of course, watching cute chicks in bathing suits is the most practiced sport in the world.  It used to be called “girl watching” although I believe the formal Olympic term would be “ogling.”

Olympic Ogling has been a sport for many years but nobody medals in it, although I’ve dated a few guys whom I’m pretty sure could have done so. Perhaps if the softball uniforms could be converted to bikinis the sport will be reconsidered as more media friendly.

Then there is the questionable inclusion of BMX cycling as an Olympic sport. Once again, I have nothing against BMX-ers. I’m sure it’s very hard work. I just don’t know if it is a sport in the same class with the rings or the pommel horse. Perhaps BMX cyclists could have their own event, similar to the Tour de France — the Tour de Encino, perhaps.

And if beach volleyball and BMX cycling are sports, I think other things should get in the Olympics too. Why are there no hackie sack games? And if we’re just talking about sports that college kids are into, where are the drinking games? Why is there no Olympic “quarters”?  (Do kids even play quarters anymore or do they just do shots off of people’s posteriors? Hey,  that could be an Olympic sport!)

And where is the surfing and the skateboarding, two sports that need at least as much athleticism as volleyball?

How about Yo-yos? Where are the yo-yos and the Frisbees? I’m just asking.

It used to be that if something was absurd and dull it was referred to as “underwater basket-weaving.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the Olympic committee is now considering this as a replacement for softball — especially if the weavers wear bikinis.

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2 thoughts on “Hap Mansfield’s Blog: The Olympic bikini party

  1. I think an Olympic sport should require terrific mind/body control. I’ve played baseball, softball, and volleyball, and I can say firsthand that volleyball is a FAR more athletic challenge than baseball or softball. Except for brief spurts of action, and with the exceptions of the active pitcher & catcher, most of the players on the baseball/softball diamond are standing at the ready, doing nothing athletic – and even that is for only a portion of the game when they are not in the dugout. I’ve seen pretty good baseball/softball played by out of shape players but have never seen good volleyball played by folks who were less than fit. Top notch basketball is a wonderful physical sport & it should certainly be an Olympic sport. But I lost interest in watching Olympic basketball when it became a venue for NBA professionals.

    As to the bikinis. In the original Olympics all the competitors competed in the nude. Wouldn’t that be a kick in this day & age?

  2. There discontinuing softball because the US women were winning everyone of them. Until recently where japan had recently won. USA sort of have a monopoly in softball.

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