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I've been watching footage from the recent Beijing Olympics on TV
lately, and frankly, I'm appalled at the lack of any relevance of the
swimming events. No practicality at all. They have many events
requiring mastery of different stroke styles, but what's the point? It's
race! The objective
to get from one point to another in the
time. Why does the stroke style matter at all? Runners don't have to
master different gaits, why should swimmers? What makes more
sense is to have different water conditions in each event. Swimming
salt water vs swimming in fresh water. Swimming against a current,
varying current speeds. Swimming through a cross-current, at
speeds. Swimming over an undertow. Swimming in varying wave
conditions. Let the swimmers choose their own stroke pattern, just
change the conditions. Given today's technology such conditions are
easy to simulate. More realistic, more demanding, and more
Very similar idea
[hippo, Aug 10 2009]
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||This reminds me of those "remove all rules from Formula 1 racing" ideas. The limitations bring out the art [-].
|| I question how swimming through flat water is impractical. Freestyle is already an optimal stroke for most conditions, but the other strokes do have practical uses: breaststroke is most efficient when one wants to take long breaths to rest or needs to swim a long way underwater, backstroke is best for looking at the sky, and butterfly is best for impressing people.
|| There have been a few developments in swimming stroke over the years (the butterfly was first recognized in 1933).
|| Swimming is no longer a practical need for most people, and I expect practical competitions (ie lifeguarding or ocean survival) would be less exciting than current swimming activities.
|| If you're bored, watch water polo.
||//Runners don't have to master different gaits,//
How do they get over the hurdles?
What about the walking race? [-]
||Jumping over a hurdle is not a gait, and the runner is free to
jump however he/she likes. For instance, the runner can jump it
with both feet forward, with the left foot forward, or with the
right foot forward. And, to my knowledge, the race walk is a
long-distance event, and is not running, so what's your point?
Besides, it's not a very well-respected sport, anyway. Kinda like
curling in that regard. Don't even get me started on that...
||My point is that most, if not all sports are pointless, apart possibly from the javelin or shooting.
Curling is an Olympic sport, but golf (to the best of my knowledge) is not.
Why is that?
They're both equally dull.
Just don't get me started on synchronised swimming.
The idea may just as well be "Make all sports the Modern Pentathlon".
||//I've been watching footage from the recent Beijing Olympics on TV lately// - very slow TV reception you get where you live...
||Swimming upstream in glacial melt water, like salmon. I'd like to see that.
||I don't think the spawning would be suitable for daytime TV though.
||The spawning would open up a lot of pay-per-view opportunities.
||Climbing up a waterfall is a definite possibility for an Olympic
sport all its own. Hell, climbing in general should be an Olympic