Thursday, February 6, 2014

Home Grown Winter Olympics

With the Winter Olympics at hand, I propose an addition to the Olympic games: The New York Winter Pentathlon. It takes no special equipment, sponsors aren’t necessary, and you can practice all the time, especially on your commute to and from your office.  While you don’t get extra points for your dismount, the judges will take Depth of Slush Lagoons, Grumbling with Style, and Snide Comments from Your Friends in Chicago under consideration.

The first event is Ice Skating.  Ice skate from your front door to a mass transportation hub, grabbing awkwardly at your opponents as you fly by. Points are awarded for not falling or for catching an opponent.

The second event is Wrestling. Long a staple of the original Greek Olympics, it was eliminated as a sport and then reinstated after an outcry, no doubt from coaches, wrestlers, and parents of wrestlers. It is not a winter sport, but the International Olympic Committee will make an exception. Once the train arrives at your mass transportation hub, push your way into the car and start grappling with the nearest passenger. Points are taken off for grappling with a person of the opposite sex. A crowded car is no excuse for sexual misconduct.  Get off the train and walk away. Least agitated participant wins.

Event number three is the Balance Beam. As you walk to your destination, balance carefully on the lumps of frozen snow to stay off the ice and to keep from getting splashed by a passing cab. Points are awarded for staying upright and splash-free.

The fourth event is the Anxious Long Jump.  Typically an athlete gains momentum by running and jumping as far as possible, but in this event one scopes out the relative angle of the slush-filled corner and leaps from point A to point B, fueled by the hope that good judgment and better depth perception leave the jumper high and dry.  No points are awarded because nobody wins this event.

The final event is another round of Ice Skating because there is a heck of a lot of ice out there.

The 2014 Olympics: Watch globally, compete locally.