8 Olympic Sports That Defy the Ancient Greek Definition

  • October 16, 2010
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Now that's what I call motivation! And also, entertainment.

Is there any pain involved in this "sport"? As with any repetitive activity, stress and muscle pain can occur when you exceed your physical capacity.

Why it defies the ancient Greek definition: At least running does have the benefit of being somewhat speedy, unlike other items on this list. And it was probably the first sport-like activity participated in by humans as we ran to escape from predators or to capture our prey. Then again, back then running involved rough terrain, obstacles such as trees and rocks, and very likely grave injury or death should the running stop occurring - compared to running nowadays, which is in a completely controlled environment. Keep in mind, back then a broken limb could be a death sentence. Now, if you throw a tiger and some cliffs into the equation, those ancient Greeks wouldn't hesitate to embrace the sport with open arms. If they had any arms left, at least.


Table tennis


Is there any pain involved in this "sport"? If you don't warm up enough, you could hurt yourself! Also, there's a possibility that you can trip over your balls if you leave extra ones lying around. If you're playing in a room with a bunch of tables, and you're not paying attention, you could get smacked in the face by someone else's paddle.

Why it defies the ancient Greek definition: I checked with the Greeks, and they think that adding the word "table" to something automatically disqualifies it as a sport. Note that "table soccer" is not a sport - it's bloody foosball! We know that games can get really fast and somewhat exciting from watching Forrest Gump, but come on, people. If you don't move your feet more than five inches during the whole match, it's not a sport. End of story. Although, if they wanted to move all of the tables close together so that dodging other people's paddles became part of the package, we might change our minds.


Tug of War


Is there any pain involved in this "sport"? Why, yes, sometimes. A group of students suffered partial hand dismemberment playing tug of war. But that's just because they obviously fail at life. Here's a hint: if you start to lose circulation, just stop. And don't wrap the rope around your hands in a way that's difficult to undo.

Why it defies the ancient Greek definition: Unless you manage to do tug of war very, very wrongly, you shouldn't have to worry about any greater injury than injuring your pride as you take a hilarious fall into a pile full of mud and get teased by the stronger team. And Greek teasing usually involved disembowelment, so consider yourself lucky.




Is there any pain involved in this "sport"? With most "real" sports, there's a good chance of injury even if you play the sport 100% correct. In weightlifting, the worst you can do is pull something, or perhaps if you're extra-special, you can manage to drop the weights on your face. And sometimes the stress of weightlifting can cause you to pass out, which in turn can lead to you getting a faceful of gym equipment as you tumble to the floor. Though we suppose forgetting your fashion accessory can be a problem in the rectal department.

Why it defies the ancient Greek definition: We admit that it takes a lot of training and determination to lift weights. We just don't think that it's very interesting. And if the only way that you can injure yourself is by dropping something that was too heavy for you to lift in the first place, we suggest that you just don't do that. There - the problem of not being a sport and getting injured solved in one fell swoop! The ancient Greeks would be proud. And then they would probably go and kill something.

Have some more pseudo-sports that minced their way into the Olympics? Post them below!

Written by Emma Larkins – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com Image Sources

Image sources:

  • - Curling : http://familydayz.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/curling1.jpg
  • - Badminton: http://www.squiglysplayhouse.com/ArtsAndCrafts/ColouringPictures/More/Badminton.gif
  • - Canoeing: http://www.cals.vt.edu/news/pubs/connections/spring06/images/canoeing.jpg
  • - Croquet: http://benjumea.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/croquet-game.jpg
  • - Running: http://adamthinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/male_lion.jpg
  • - Table tennis: http://members.tripod.com/netta_ct/608050.jpghttp://members.tripod.com/netta_ct/608050.jpg
  • - Tug of War: http://livingindryden.org/images/hanshawRoad/tugOfWar08272005B.jpg
  • - Weightlifting : http://southernfriedfatty.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/weightlifting.jpg