The Rings

The Best (and worst) Olympic Sports

Despite being super busy these days, I’m still allowing some leisure time to watch the Summer Olympics. I’m a big sports fan and so the Olympics are a perfect opportunity to sample so many different sports, that I’ll be honest, I would never watch if the Olympics didn’t make it all nice and easy to sample and watch at the same time.

But looking online, there’s so many freakin’ sports! Some I enjoy a lot, and some…meh! So what I’ve decided to do here is share a list of my favourites, from best to worst and some reasons for their placing…

  1. Track and Field – without a doubt the best since it tests basic human strength, speed and coordination. The Olympics would not be the Olympics without Track and Field!
  2. Swimming – dramatic and entertaining…and within a good time frame.
  3. Triathlon – I always dreamed of doing this sport, was never a strong swimmer though. I’m a fan of endurance and the strategy involved – the best in this sport could be argued as also the greatest all-round athletes.
  4. Beach Volleyball – really fun to watch. Great intensity and I love how a match is like a big party with the crowd going crazy and music blaring in between points.
  5. Badminton – I love this because I’m always in awe of how fast the birdie flies.
  6. Table Tennis – I played this in my basement growing up and the speed of the ball is just crazy! Even their warm-up is hard to follow!!
  7. Cycling – I watched my first Olympics in 1984 and saw Steve Bauer win a silver medal. I was so inspired I started biking like crazy and loved it.
  8. Volleyball – same feelings for me as the beach version, but the beach version is just a bit more engaging for some reason.
  9. Rowing – I’m a fan of anything where you get from start to finish in the least possible time. Rowing is simple yet you can tell that these athletes are probably the most fit of any other.
  10. Weightlifting – very simple in concept yet very dramatic, who can lift the most!?! Great sport also because it’s truly international where anyone can participate regardless if they come from a poor or rich country.
  11. Artistic Gymnastics – I know that this is the fave Olympic sport for many, and I enjoy it as well. I’m in awe of all the “tricks” they do. My issue though is I can’t tell what the judges are looking for…just too fast. Unless they fall, it all looks amazing to me!
  12. Water Polo – I appreciate this and the next 2 because they feel similar to (ice) hockey, so that makes them neat.
  13. Field Hockey
  14. Handball
  15. Rugby – This is new this year and it’s awesome, though I don’t get what constitutes a foul when the point seems to be to hit and tackle everything in sight.
  16. Basketball – I love this sport and regularly watch the NBA and our beloved Toronto Raptors. But for some reason, it’s hard for me to get into this during the Olympics. Maybe it’s because it’s a forgone conclusion that the Americans will win.
  17. Canoe / Kayak – This seems like such a Canadian activity so I feel obliged to appreciate it for cultural reasons:)
  18. Boxing – I am not a fan of professional boxing since there’s no head gear and so many suffer brain damage. But at least in the Olympics they have some head protection. Otherwise, I was iffy in ranking this one so high.
  19. Taekwondo – very fast with the roundhouse kicks. Sort of like watching a fight scene in a movie. But again, is it really good for someone to get kicked in the head even with protective head gear?
  20. Diving – Like artistic gymnastics, amazing to watch but what are the judges looking for? Unless there’s a belly-flop, they all look amazing!!
  21. Rhythmic Gymnastics – as an artist, I can respect this a lot. But I always have a bit of an issue with judged sports with artistic elements (feel the same way about figure skating). That being said, a big fan of the twirling ribbon:)!
  22. Fencing – interesting sport but just too fast to follow
  23. Synchronized Swimming – I feel bad ranking this so low since it’s quite artistic and I’ve heard the amount of physical work below the water is immense. That being said, I just can’t get over the nose plugs and the constant smiling…it’s a bit freaky.
  24. Soccer – along with hockey, definitely my all-time fave sports. But for some reason, I just can’t get into it during the Olympics. I guess because it seems like it’s trying to be the World Cup. One problem though, there’s already a World Cup!
  25. Tennis – like basketball and soccer, I love watching Wimbledon or the US Open, but I won’t rush to watch it during the Olympics.
  26. Modern Pentathlon – I’m a fan of the multi-sports like triathlon, heptathlon and decathlon, but this, not so much. The roots of the sport comes from training to be a good soldier. That makes sense for pistol shooting and running, but fencing, swimming and show jumping in this day and age?? Maybe they should replace those with some kind of obstacle course they would have on that TV show Wipeout – I’m sure I would be more interested then.
  27. Trampoline – this looks fun and physically demanding. But let’s be honest, it’s hard to take seriously an activity you’d see at a backyard birthday party for kids.
  28. Archery – this and #27 are both interesting but I’ll admit a bit boring to watch.
  29. Shooting
  30. Wrestling – not as entertaining as WWE, so it’s hard to watch.
  31. Judo – too slow, nothing seems to be going on. I also have a hard time understanding what’s the objective and how it’s different than wrestling.
  32. Equestrian – since the Olympics is a competition for humans and this is a sport where the animal does more work than the human, I’m not sure why it should be in the Olympics at all.
  33. Sailing – just too hard to watch on TV. No cheering crowd either makes it feel weird.
  34. Golf – just plain strange to be an Olympic sport. What’s next, car racing?

For the record, I respect all the world-class athletes in all these sports for their dedication and hard work. I’m sure that they would not care about my opinion anyway:)!

How about YOU? Do you agree with my list or do I just not get the beauty of those that I ranked low?

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