Chris Smith

Chris Smith .xyz

Stupid Sports

by Chris Smith

The triple-jump. What's that all about? It used to be called the "hop, skip and jump". It's the long jump with a "Ministry of Silly Walks" run-up. It's competing to see who can do 3 different things in a sequence. Why not have the "stand-up, sit-down, javelin" or the "run backwards, cartwheel, pole-vault"?

In the (Winter) Olympics there's the Olympic Biathlon. A biathlon is 2 events or skills combined. It's the almost unguessable cross country skiing and rifle shooting. Doesn't seem like an obvious or particularly practical combination to me. Skateboard archery, anyone?

I can see that humans wanting to establish who is the fastest, strongest, best jumper, best thrower is something that goes back to the earliest civilisations and it makes sense. I can even understand hurdles or pole-vault as skills which might have once had an application in the wild. Concocting weird variations of these to open up more sports just seems ridiculous.

How do people get involved in these odd secondary sports? Isn't a triple-jumper just someone who couldn't compete as a long-jumper so went on a date with its weird younger sister?