Olympus Maximus, or What the Olympics Should Be

February 16, 2006

“ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?”
— Gladiator

I was talking about the Olympics with a friend today, and we both agreed that it’s mostly a boring ball of shit. Especially the Winter Olympics stuff (except for that one event where the dudes fly through the air on the huge skis). I just don’t get it. What the games really come down to are bragging rights… those people are out there proving to the rest of the world that their country is superior, that their people are better conditioned and prepared for competition. It’s about showing off your best of breed and earning gold medals. But how does doing a backflip on a snowboard prove that you’re better, mentally or physically? That’s just downright silly. I feel that in order to really compete, we must utilize our most primal instincts. We must take risks.

And how do we do that? How do we really compete? How do we prove who is stronger, faster, smarter, better? You prove it with hand to hand fucking combat. Yes, the ultimate competition! Life or death, the weak vs the strong; the losers don’t go home, the losers are annihilated. The winners survive to become heroes and legends. Face it, it’s what we’re trying to simulate when we put on those cleats and head out onto the field anyway.

Take football or rugby, for example: both are “civilized” simulations of warfare. You get out there, work as a team, and try to destroy your “enemy” with various strategies and formations. Hell, some rugby teams even have war dances before the games, all the while staring down their opponents on the field in an attempt to scare the life out of them. Soccer, too, has its connections to the battlefield. Stadiums filled with hooligans — clans & armies, basically — all men from different cities, chanting war songs to encourage their players. And all they get out of it is a little black & white ball bouncing up and down the field, or douchebags with ugly haircuts, like that Beckham guy. There’s no relief. There’s no satisfaction. It’s why those things erupt into violence. Soccer just isn’t the ideal outlet for our primal instincts. No sport is.

gladiatori.jpg

This ain’t ancient Greece. Back then, they had so much war that they had to put their war in the refrigerator in Ziploc baggies and reheat the war leftovers the next day — that’s how much war they had back then! If the Olympics were anything, they were a preparation for war. Naked men in olive groves wrestling each other and hurling rocks around — what do you think it was all for? They had to hone their skills, of course! Today, it’s different. You can’t even invade a country without taking some guff, and when we kill each other, there’s nothing personal about it. It’s all about who can pull the trigger first from 500 meters, or who can hit the “detonate” button on the roadside bomb. It’s just not the same. Blood doesn’t mix with blood, sweat doesn’t mix with sweat. It’s too clean and rarely practiced. And our Olympics? Give me a break. They would laugh at us and our silly games.

What would be better is if we just brought back Gladitorial combat in arenas like the Romans and had a showdown at the Olympics every 4 years. 100 or so warriors would be chosen from each country, all of them experts in various fields of weaponry. For instance, some would be proficient in archery, others the sword, axe, bludgeoning tool, throwing dart, what have you. They would wear Roots breastplates and Nike helmets for protection.

The events would be composed of offensive, defensive, and meeting engagements. Barricades would be erected, hot oil would be provided, moats would be filled with vicious aquatic beasts, and catapults would be constructed, allowing competitors to hurl flaming balls of tar through the air at their foes. Then, and only then, would we see who’s got the bigger balls and who possesses the real skills — the skills important to survival. Open fucking warfare!

Then the countries would go through elimination rounds until they were down to a handful of warriors or until they were defeated, AND THUS, the real podium shit would begin. Picture hot 5 on 5 combat between Scandinavian berserkers covered in blue paint and Japanese samurai (the fine samurai way would undoubtedly be resurrected thanks to the New Olympics). Only the best and the luckiest would survive, making for the most heated of battles. After that comes the 2 on 2 and 1 on 1 combat. And then, finally, somebody would be crowned the victor.

I feel that this would also help our countries reduce political tension in certain situations. Maybe Canada and the US could finally resolve their differences in the logging industry, for instance. Instead of us Americans bitching at North Korea, threatening them with this sanction or that sanction, and then having them turn around and threaten to nuke us, we could just go into the arena and fuckin’ duel, and in the end we’d probably come out patting our little asian brothers on the ass and sayin’ “Good game, North Korea, good game. Way to hustle, bros.” We’d find some respect for each other, there’s no doubt about it. That’s what we need more of in this world — not choreographed ice skating in sparkly outfits, not snowboarding, not curling, but respect and love for one another.

And that can only be achieved through bloodshed and the deaths of thousands.

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