On the eve of the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, two leisure activities, Skateboarding and Chess, have expressed to The Gabbler their desire to speak out against what they believe are the restrictive and at times even oppressive policies of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) as it determines which athletes and activities are eligible to participate in the Olympic Games. As both weigh in on what characteristics and requirements are necessary , readers are left to wonder: what is a sport, really?
Suck It, IOC, Skateboarding Will Never Bow to Your Authority (Unless You’re Asking…)
You know what, man? I’ve never been much of a joiner. Gliding over the endless pavement of a waterless pool has always been enough. Who needs permission? Or rules? Or the approval of a giant international sports organization like the International Olympics Committee (IOC)? Not this board, man, not this board.
I mean, I’m like all about rebelling against authority. Who needs it, right? Some weird dude in some official Olympic polo that was probably made in China, mecca of authority and discipline and rules and stuff, telling me where I’m supposed to “live” in the “Olympic Village” for two and half weeks? Like they even know what living really is, right? Living is a sweet 360 off a half pipe, wind blowing in your hair, some early Blink 182 blaring from your stereo. That’s living. Is the Olympic Village equipped for that, man? I don’t think so.
But if I did know about rules and stuff, you know, just so I knew what confines society was trying to shackle onto my awesomeness, I would know, for example, that skateboarding meets all of the International Olympics Committee’s requirements for a summer sport. I’ve gone international to a totally extreme degree, I’m in every continent, every country, helping little dudes and dudettes subvert authority and not care about the dumb rules of giant governing bodies like the good old IOC. And I’m not propelled by an engine. Bam. Both requirements met. Suck it, IOC.
But here’s the problem with shit like numbers and rules and requirements: the IOC is all like, “Oh no skateboarding, even though you’re totally rad and would actually make the Olympics worth watching again, we can’t possibly have more than 28 sports, that would be like a total downer.”
Whatever, IOC, just get rid of that Dressage shit. Who wants horse ballet when you could have a half pipe, right? Right?
Not that I care, man. I mean, like I said, I hate shit like organizations who pretend to be in charge of stuff. Like who are you to be in charge of the Olympics, IOC? Right? I say we just do an X Games raid on that shit. The Brits’ll never see it coming. But, seriously, though, I’ll be invited in 2016, right? Because that would be totally gnarly.
Don’t Call Checkmate Just Yet, IOC — This Is Far From Over
I’d just like to make something perfectly clear: it’s not that I, Chess, have any desire whatsoever to be in the Olympics. I’m quite sure that those heaving brutes and I have very little in common. Whereas I enjoy dissecting worms, watching Star Trek, and discussing the exponential increase in ply positions over a nice bottle of seltzer (it clears my sinuses), they prefer to sweat and grunt loudly every time they run around or make contact with the ball (yes, female tennis players, I’m referring to you). And fine, maybe I have lit a few candles, closed my eyes and listened to Petra Cetkovska play a few matches. What sexually repressed Chess Board hasn’t, for Turing’s sake? We don’t often binge drink and then prey on lonely women with low self esteem on Friday nights, okay? Maybe Checkers never called me back, okay?
Anyway, that’s not important, and my therapist and I are dealing with my female-induced social anxiety in a very healthy way, at my own pace, on my own time. The fact that I might have the chance to see Stephanie Rice in a bathing suit with my own two eyes doesn’t mean that I would actually entertain the possibility of lowering myself to such a vulgar display of animalistic brutality. It’s not as if I give one half a darn QUARK that the International Olympics Committee doesn’t consider me a “sport.”
Let me tell you something about me. I’ve been around for over 5,000 years, and I was invented as a form of leisure for those who were interested in strengthening the single most powerful and important aspect of the body: the mind. You see, even now, people make the grave and naive error of separating the mind from the body, as if there is any way at all a 5 percent BMA makes any difference if you can’t remember your own birthday. The fact that the IOC can define “strength” by such narrow and superficial standards as certain “physical” requirements just goes to show that they are still stumbling through hastily written analyses of the dualistic dichotomy theory in a 1990 issue of Psychology Today. We might as well all be Freudians and prescribe cocaine for headaches, for Turing’s sake.
What does it matter if I undergo immense pressure and nearly unbearable mental struggles daily? I can’t bench press 250, so apparently I’m not WORTHY of accepting a medal in a spandex jumpsuit. What if I told you that my IQ was 136, and that it takes me 15 gosh darn seconds to do a Rubix cube? Mensa returns my calls, but the IOC won’t? That’s fine, because once I master telekinesis, I’ll bench press those dumb jocks straight into the Thames. I’ll show them the real meaning of “atomic.” HINT: It’s got nothing to do with a wedgy, you blockheads.
POINT written by Jessica Pierce and COUNTERPOINT by Lisa DeBenedictis