In keeping with the Olympic fever (there’s only one cure — more cowbell!) sweeping our fine Nation, ‘Puter rushes in where angels fear to tread. That’s right, boys and girls, it’s time to set straight, once and for all, which events are sports and which are desperate cries for help masquerading as sports.
These web folks define “sport” as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.” Fools and incompetent morons.
Sure, sport involves athleticism, at least to some minor degree, and competition, but this definition falls short. What sport really requires is an objective measure of performance. If your event is “judged” or “scored,” you’re probably living in denial that you’re participating in a sport, regardless of the athletic demands of the event.
So, to provide some examples of sports: soccer, shooting, tae kwon do, baseball, bowling, curling, miniature golf, track and field events, horse racing and race walking.
Living in denial: figure skating (particularly ice dancing), synchronized swimming, cheerleading, gymnastics (particularly the rhythmic sort), surfing and diving (especially the synchronized kind).
“But ‘Puter,” I hear the collective moan, “Ice dancing is totally athletic, and, like, really, really hard!” No doubt, replies ‘Puter, but if you have to rely on the East German judge to win, you’ve already lost. If a clock, a goal line or a target are involved, there can be no argument as to the outcome. If Claudette, the Gitanes-smoking, brie-scarfing, Beaujolais-guzzling French woman (I use that term loosely), gets to decide how pretty your outfit is, and you get to win based on her assessment, you end up with Salt Lake City all over again.
To recap: Luge=sport. Freestyle Anything=Not A Sport.
On this, there can be no debate.