The International Olympic Committee today announced that they are beginning the review process for the sports to be included in the 2012 Olympic Games. All 28 of the sports now contested will be reviewed, as well as any potential replacements.
Now, considering that these games might take place in New York, I think it might be a good chance to look at some of the potential replacements, should it be determined that additions are necessary:
--Taxi Dodging - New Yorkers have this skill down pat. Now let's see how the rest of the world does. It is a mile and a half race against traffic for thirty blocks up Second Avenue, starting just below the entrance to the Midtown Tunnel and ending just above the 59th Street bridge. Obviously, the winner is the one who makes it to the end in one piece.
--Rat Archery - Archers will be turned loose in the subways!!!! Of course, they have to hit moving targets this time. The Times Square station will be the setting for the competition. But competitors better beware. Remember, there is no air conditioning down there.
--Midnight Stroll Through Central Park - No lights, no guides, no maps. Competitors have to walk from the corner of 59th and Fifth to the corner of 110th and Central Park West. Bonus points to any racer who gets there with the same amount of money in his or her pocket as they started with.
--Trans-East River Swim - Swimmers must cross the River from Manhattan to Queens, avoiding anything that might be floating in their way. Please note, though, that New York is NOT responsible for removing the smell from the swimmers bodies post-race.
--Culinary Pentathlon - Not all the new sports are wrought with danger. In fact, the athleticism involved in this one is minimal. The modern pentathlon is in serious danger of being eliminated (I mean, really, a competition involving swimming, running, shooting, fencing and equestrian? When was it ever modern?). Participants in the Culinary Pentathlon (CulPent for short) must consume a full meal in each of five restaurants at these times....Noon: Peter Luger's; 3:00PM: Carmine's; 6:00PM: Nobu; 9:00PM: Wo Hop; Midnight: Gray's Papaya (score in this part of the event based on number of hot dogs eaten).
--Times Square Sprint - Racers must run on the sidewalk on Broadway from 42nd to 50th Street through all of the amassed tourists and sightseers. And be careful to avoid the panhandlers and other native New Yorkers.
--Staten Island to Columbus Circle Morning Commute - Navigate the buses, ferry and subways and deal with everyone rushing to work (in other words, experience life as a real New Yorker). Racers are on their own for fares and directions, though, since no one has the time to stop and help out.
--Basketball - Contestants have to sit through a Knick game from beginning to end. The Dream Team is a distant memory.
With baseball and softball on the brink, along with the aforementioned modern pentathlon, it looks like there might only be room for three of these sports, unfortunately. Of course, New Yorkers want them all so they can sweep all the medals. Which they will then duplicate and sell on every street corner to unsuspecting tourists.
Do you have suggestions for 2012 New York Olympic events? E-mail them to me (include the event's title, a brief description, your name and city of residence) and I will list the best ones in a future column.