Monday, July 30, 2012

Improving the Olympics, aka "Why Isn't this Here?"

There are several foreign sports that should be added to the Olympics that I think (mostly) Americans would love once they watch it.

1. Calcio Fiorentino.  Started in the 16th century by noble Italian families who would compete with each other to show off their power and prowess, calcio fiorentino appears to be a combination of rugby and wrestling without the refs, rules, or timeouts.  There are 27 people on each team, and you're allowed to do whatever it takes, except for kicks to the back of the head, for 50 minutes straight.  There are no substitutes, so if someone gets injured then that team is down one man.  This would put football, soccer, and rugby to shame. See more here.
2. Botaoshi.  2 teams of 75 people. 2 poles. 2 rounds.  One team attacks and the other defends. The second round the teams switch.  The point is the see who can take down the other team's pole in the fastest time.  It was started by the Japanese as a military exercise, which they still do annually to initiate the new recruits.  So in essence it's a big brawl between 150 men attacking a pole.  No sexual overtones there, eh? But still, to watch a video of this it looks pretty awesome and reminds me of a childhood game we played in the neighborhood that was a combination of team freeze tag, hide and seek, and capture the flag.

3. Fierljeppen.  It's Dutch pole vaulting, but you do it over a canal.  You take a running start, grab a pole, and then try to climb as high as you can before jumping off it on the other side of a canal.  Whoever goes the farthest wins.  Here you go.  If you've ever watched a show called MXC (Most Extreme Elimination!) then you've probably seen something similar.  Combining MXC's version of it (well, they ripped it from a japanese game show) with the landing pad and wider canal would make it very watchable.

That is all.

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