Olympic fantasy

I have decided I could compete in the Olympic Games. I could enter the events for jumping to conclusions or running in circles. I am inclined to overcome any hurdle. I wonder if the Poles vault or the equestrians horse around. Is my analysis urinalysis. I love tennis but am bad at badminton. I confuse putting the shot and shooting the pot. I can’t tell the difference between the 100 meters and the parking meters. The Cubans are best at boxing cigars, the Arabs prefer camel racing and the Lapps tend to be lapped. The runners prefer fast food and the jumpers eat lots of beans.

Watching on TV makes me so tired, I don’t need to exercise. I have decided to visit London, but everything is booked, so I’m going next year. By then even the longest races will be over. Then we can stand where Usayn bolted and eat where Federer served. We can ascend the Orbit or circle the Oval, rotate with the Eye or travel the Tube. Anything is possible.

The slogan of the Olympics is “faster, higher, stronger.” What about “slower, lower, weaker.” I remember seeing a Noh play in Tokyo. My Japanese friend warned me against it, and he was right, it was excruciatingly slow, they applaud for the longest time that someone takes to make a step or utter a long drawn out syllable. This is definitely slower and they probably get gold medals for it. I could compete, but I decided to leave in the interval, it was too slow for me.

In the West Indies they have a dance called the Limbo, where dancers progress to rhythmic music underneath a bar held by two people at the ends, who keep lowering it. The bar is supposed to represent the transition to death and the dance is competitive so that the person who passes underneath the lowest level of the bar wins. Definitely gold medals for this.

In the Polynesian islands they have a competition for feather balancing. The longer the feather the easier it is to balance, but it has been found that the stronger a person is the harder it is for them to balance the feather. In fact, women are usually better at this sport than men, and in earlier times the woman who won was raped by the whole tribe. Now that is frowned upon.

In the Maya culture long ago they played “The Ball Game” whereby two teams competed to pass a rubber ball through a vertical hoop high on the wall of a stone court, without touching it by hand. You could use any other part of your anatomy, including your legs, hips and heads. Contrary to rumor, the winner who scored the goal was not killed, but was honored (gold medal?) while the losing team or its chief were sacrificed. This would make a good Olympic sport. Then there was gladiatorial combat as practised in Rome, but the Christians might object.

Anyway, I’m away to my couch for a summer of watching, bring on the snacks and the soft drinks.

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.