An Olympics for Klutzes

Posted by OrdinaryJoe - July 25, 2021 - Features, Sports - No Comments

It’s time for the hoopla over synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, handball, and water polo. The Olympic Games have begun in Tokyo, Japan.

Way, way back in the days in which (Charles) Atlas was a muscleman and Hercules (aka Steve Reeves) was the greatest of Greek he-men, I had a fleeting interest in becoming an Olympic athlete. I imagined myself wearing a gold medal, having my face on Wheaties boxes, endorsing everything from Athenian gyros to Trojan condoms, appearing on four-rate daytime game shows and the Battle of the Obscure Celebrities, and pulling the toupee off of garrulous sportscaster Howard Cosell like Muhammad Ali.

However, those dreams dissipated when I ran in my first race in YMCA day camp. I was so slow–how slow were you?–that I couldn’t beat a snail in a 100 meter dash even if I had a fifteen minute head start. At the end of the race, I asked my sister, “Did a win a medal?” She replied, “Uh, no, Joe”.

As I grew older, I became the Olympian of klutzes. I couldn’t jump over hurdles, throw a discus, do a high jump, or walk a balance beam. I was like Janis Ian in the song “At Seventeen”–I was the person whose name was never called for a basketball or pretty much any other endeavor that required a good sweat and a jockstrap.

Every year, the Razzies are awarded to the worst movies and acting performances of the past year. Sometimes, I wish there was a Razzies for Olympic athletes. It would be quite entertaining seeing pseudo-jocks run like they are suffering from the heartbreak of constipation; belly flop in swimming pools; unable to do somersaults, handstands, and back flips; and do foul-ups, bleeps, and blundering during the decathlon that would astound the Three Stooges.

A Razzie Olympics would be much like a contest envisioned by the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron de Coubertin, in which the goal is taking part rather than winning. Not only that, it would certainly be a TV ratings smash. After all, nimrods such as Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards and the Jamaican bobsledding team became bigger celebrities than a bevy of Olympians that won a bevy of medals.

Not every athlete is “stronger, higher, faster”. Some are destined to win participant trophies rather than gold medals. A Razzie Olympics would celebrate the athletes who are like me–those who are more like Klutz E. Hercules than Hercules.

Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day

I would have an easier time finding gold in the Klondike than winning a gold medal at the Olympics.

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