The Olympics opening ceremonies are sort of a slap in the face to geography teachers everywhere. When the parade of athletes began I started keeping a list or countries I didn’t know were countries and I had to stop at the C’s because it was getting embarrassing with how long my list was getting…sorry Coach Baker (my 10th grade geography teacher)to have let you down…thank God I didn’t make that some sort of drinking game during my watch party! We all wouldn’t have been able to pull ourselves off the floor! As the different countries parade by there is a flag holder. Usually it’s one of the country’s front runners (for the US is was Michael Phelps of course). As the flag holder walks by, they flash what event that particular athlete competes in. As the flag holder’s events came across my screen, I started to notice that not only did I not know that Djibouti, Tuvalu, and Mauritania were countries but I also didn’t know that trampoline, modern pentathlon, and handball were actual events in the Olympics! I feel like I can’t be the only one! So I did a little research for us…you’re welcome!
My inner 11 year old leapt for joy when I discovered that trampoline was an actual event in the Olympics! I had to express my disappointment to my dad today at the many times I asked for a trampoline in the backyard and he told me “no”. I could have been great! I could have been an Olympian! Yet another example of parent’s holding kids back from their greatness, smh. Needless to say he didn’t apologize.
The Event: There are 2 routines to qualify: Compulsory (pre-defined combinations from the panel) and Voluntary (10-bounce routine with the athlete’s tricks of choice) Check out China’s trampoline champion Dong Dong here
Judging: Based on difficulty, trick execution, and flight time. Points are deducted when there are unnecessary jumps between tricks
Handball is basically glorified dodgeball except the only person really needing to dodge is the goalie, which I would never want to be!
The Event: There are 7 people on a team with 2-30 minute periods. Players can only take 3 steps before they have to bounce the ball. To score throw the ball into the goal box which is guarded by a goalie. I feel like I totally could play handball!
Holy smokes. It’s hard enough to play one sport and be really good! This event requires the athletes to be good at 5!
The Event: Athletes compete in 5 sports across 4 events. All events take place on the same day: 1. Fencing (sparring for 1 minute) 2. Swimming (200m) 3. Show Jumping (jumping over 12 obstacles on a horse, athletes don’t get to BYOH…bring your own horse…they are given one via a draw) 4. Running and Shooting (running 3.2 km with 4 stops along the way where they have to shoot at 5 different targets…weird.) The first to cross the finish line, wins! I need to take a breather just from thinking about all that!
I don’t understand why this is a sport/event in the Olympics. I feel like an Olympics event at least should have you break a sweat, or make you short of breath! Nope. No breaths are lost while competing in shooting. Maybe I “missed the mark” and should have tried to be an Olympic shooter. I’m a pretty good shot if I do say so myself!
The Event: There are 3 disciplines- riffle, pistol, and shot gun
Judging: Hit a target, gain points
I have to admit when I saw that canoe/kayaking was on the Olympics event list I rolled my eyes. But then in research I realized it’s not like canoeing at summer camp! It’s intense and deserves to be recognized as a real thing! The amount of core and arm strength one needs to compete is insane!
The Event: There are two events Sprint & Slalom. Sprint: 3 distances (200, 500, 100m) and is done on flat water. Slalom: On a course up to 250m long which contains 20-25 gates that athletes can’t hit (think white water) check it out here. For each of the events it can range from one person to a team of four.
I love that I eventually remembered that this was an event so that I could go ahead and set my DVR to record it. This is a hidden gem in the fabric of the Olympics and I just wanted to give it a little shine.
The Event: Combines dance, ballet, gymnastics, and apparatus manipulation. There are 4 individual rounds 1. Ball 2. Hoop 3. Clubs 4. Ribbon (now that I think about it, these items would be every cat’s dream to play with)! There is also a team event with 5 people and two rounds.
Scoring: based on balance, leaps, apparatus handling, pirouettes, and execution
If anything this list makes me think I might have been qualified to do a few of these events had I known they were things! Where does one sign up to be on a handball team? Where does one go to train for trampoline? You can check out these events by following along on the schedule and maybe get inspired to try something new! We have 4 years to train for Tokyo!