I’m not much of a spectator of sports or pageantry and the Olympics are both with a huge dollop of personal stories (at least on TV). I have three ideas to improve the Olympics.

First, no more country vs. country. Go big or go home: continent vs. continent! Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Why we should do it:

  • In 2012 games[1]
    • 205 countries entered, 85 countries won at least one medal (41% of participating countries), 10 countries won 55% of all medals (5% of participating countires).
    • 11 countries had two entrants.
    • 2 countries had over 500, another 4 had over 390.
  • It took all teams having ten entrants or less to surpass the entrants by Great Britain who had the most entrants
    • 547 from 102 countries (50% of participating countries)
    • 541 from Great Britain.
  • People would be employed to come up with new continental songs and chants – employing the arts.
  • Can’t we all just get along would be taking another step forward.
  • Much shorter opening and closing ceremonies!
  • We could recombine the summer and winter games for the same year so it seems more significant vs. every two years.
  • With only 6 teams we only need to worry about first and second place.
    • Fewer podium spots – less risk of injury to falling.
    • Less natural resources used – go green!
    • Fewer heats and brackets.

Why it’s not a great idea (cons):

  • Cheering for your continent is a bit less dramatic… As of now.

Second, remove individual events. I’m not against individualism at all, but why do we need to know which individual is the fastes in the breast stroke vs. the butterfly vs. the backstroke. Relay that up, oh wait, they already do, so we have redundancies going on. Or, just say fastest swimmer of whatever style you want. Same thing with running, but in running’s defense, it is nice to know who the bear would eat and not eat if all 6 people had to run away and depending on the persistance of the bear who would be eaten: 50 or 100 yards.

Third… OK, I don’t really have a third, so I’m going with this bear running event. I don’t think I need to put much definition here: open [hungry] bear’s cage, runners run until bear stops chasing. Everyone not caught is a winner (and the only event allowed to have multiple medal winners).

FYI – Russia would be part of Team Europe because Moscow is on the European continent. Island countries may have a harder time identifying which continent, but it just takes a little sense to determine their group. Examples include: Iceland to Europe, Caribbean islands would go to either NA or SA, Indonesia to Australia or Asia.

Take away: don’t allow someone who doesn’t watch sports and hates pageantry to reformat one of the largest ‘sporting’ events of which half takes place every two years.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Summer_Olympics

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