So far we’ve taken nationalities out of the Olympics, and we’ve awarded medals for the top 8. Now it is time to sharpen up the situation regarding the events.
One extremely irksome issue is that of event balance. For example a top gymnast has the opportunity to win medals in overall gymnastics, team gymnastics, and then each gymnastic event in isolation. If a competitor fails in the pommel horse, no worries there’s always the vault. Multiple medaling is the norm. Now take the marathon; only the one chance, no possibility of trying another event, and what an exhausting event too.
Point 3 Reduce the number of events
It’s as simple as that? Yes. Each event would need to be looked at in turn; it wouldn’t be possible to apply fixed rules to all events, but the concept should be the same, ie fewer events.
For example? If we follow through the gymnastics disciplines referred to above, the simple, obvious conclusion is to award medals for the overall event only. No team event, remember we have already dispensed with nationalities, and gymnastics is hardly a true team sport. And certainly no medals for each individual discipline. For another sport that is infamous for its multiple medaling, swimming, the same concept, fewer events. One however should bear in mind the status of swimming, an everyday human activity which is a time-measured sport (something like gymnastics is subjectively scored), and also its place in Olympic history. So each of the four strokes, plus the medley should remain, but no relays (again no nationalities). And all that needs pruning are some of the distances. Just leave it at 100m (not the medley) and 400m. Then the freestyle may additionally have the long distance 1500m. And that’s it. There’s nothing stopping individual sports associations from having all the other multifarious events in their own world championships, but to expect the Olympics to provide the same depth is not on.
That’s culling too much! Admittedly it is all a bit harsh, but the Olympics is getting too big for so many cities to bid, and so many facilities are underused afterwards. A large slicing might well be the answer, and just think of the importance and drama it would add to the remaining events. Spectators would be much more able to follow everything. Swimming is just a blur at present, it would be so much clearer to the general public.
What about sports that are team events only? That is a good question, there are other issues at work here, more later.
This concept of fewer events would be applied to all sports, although something like football has only the one available gold medal, so reducing this is clearly not feasible.
Fewer events would lead to a slimmer Olympics, where each event would become a great deal more valuable. And many more cities from around the globe would be able to afford the games, not just the same old cities fighting it out.
A slim, sharp, affordable Olympics, isn’t that what everyone wants?