Amanda, The Olympian

No big deal, just me and Michael Phelps hanging out in Beijing.

Every 4 years the entire world comes together as one unit. The best athletes from all over the world converge on one city for one purpose: to beat the crap out of every other country and prove your country is number one at everything.

And every 4 years, I decide that I’m fully capable of being an Olympic athlete.

I’ve been doing a little soul-searching today, mostly because I grounded myself from the internet so I wouldn’t get any spoilers about how Michael Phelps wasn’t even going to place in his first event. I love Michael Phelps. I’m still weeping about this. But back to my soul-searching. I’ve been doing some soul-searching to see what event I should focus on to reach my Olympic dreams. I have several options obviously, because I’m incredibly versatile:

Gymnastics: I’m older than 16 and I’ve passed puberty. No go-on the gymnastics.

Swimming: I can tread water for a whole minute. This is a possibility. But most likely I would get halfway across the pool and get a cramp thus causing me to drown. But then Michael Phelps could dive in a save me with mouth-to-mouth. No gold medal, but Michael Phelps. Lose-win situation there.

Handball: I have no clue how this game works. But I can throw balls into nets.

Rowing: Zero upper body strength. I would not win. Unless I got to be the person at the from yelling at the other rowers. I’m a great yeller.

Cycling: This would probably lead me to have another leg cramp, then I would fall of my bike and get run over. But I have big calve muscles, so I could go pretty fast.

Fencing: I’m GREAT at poking people with long sticks. But I’m not very formal. That seems like a sport for formal people. I can lift my pinky while I poke.

Volleyball: I was never allowed to play volleyball as a teen. MOstly because of my lack of hand/eye coordination, but I don’t really see this as a problem.

The options are endless you guys. I’m a really talented athlete. I don’t know how I’ll decide. I’m 23, so my prime Olympic years are behind me. By my best estimation I’ve got one shot at being an Olympian, so I’m going to have to do them all at once. This is obviously the most logical choice, because not being an Olympian is NOT an option.

So I’ll see you guys in 4 years. Until then I’ll be busy training to become the first septuple sport athlete in Rio 2016!

An Open Letter to the International Olympic Committee

Dear IOC,

Friday, July 27, 2012. To some this may be a regular Friday. Just another day spent complaining about the humidity and the heat. Just a day in July.

Well, not for me. Friday, July 27, 2012 is a day I have waited 4 years for. A day that begins the most joyful weeks of my summer.

July 27, 2012 is the first day of the summer Olympic games in London, England, as I’m sure you are aware. I live my life Olympics to Olympics. Winter, Summer I don’t care. Nothing brings me as much joy as watching nation compete against nation for a small metal disc on a ribbon. I do mean nothing. If I could, I would sit at home for those two weeks, on my couch, and never move so that I could watch every event. In fact, maybe I’ll stop my job search right now just to make sure I have those two weeks off. (I probably won’t do that.) But let’s be honest. Some events are more exciting than others. For instance, I enjoy watching Michael “Albatross Arms” Phelps swim really fast, way more than I enjoy equestrian events. I have taken some creative liberties and made a few minor adjustments to make some sports more enjoyable to the viewer.

Let’s start with rowing. By itself, it’s sort of like watching your camp buddies canoe.  Awesome for two minutes and then you’re over it. And shooting, well that’s just not really exciting for me at all. “But what if we combined them?”, you say. Well that’s exactly what I did.

X-Treme Rowing (The main reason for the unorthodox spelling of extreme is because if you’re flipping through your TV guide and you see X-Treme as compared to extreme, you’re picking the X. It’s just our nature)
Picture this. A team of muscled young men rowing in rhythm down a nice happy river. But what’s this I hear? Gun shots? OH NO. The shooters are on one side of the river with their targets on the other. Oh and they’re on moving platforms?! Going the same way as the rowers?! But, if the rowers don’t row fast enough the shooters will catch up to them and they’ll get shot! X-Treme Rowing!

Now you ask, “What about that boring sailing? Why is that even an Olympic sport?”, you say. Well, how do you feel about Sailminton. “Sailminton? that sounds like a cross between badminton and sailing?” You’re smart! That’s exactly what it is!

4 men. Two paddles. One birdie. A vast ocean, their mistress. Two sailboats traveling parallel to one another. One man serves the birdie to the other boat, they bat that little thing back and forth as the ocean sways them to and fro. Suddenly a giant wave pops up. This does not stop the sailminton. Lose the birdie in the sea, you lose the medal for your country. What once was viewed as a leisure activity has now become the most riveting event in the Olympics. Some go for hours, others only minutes. Only the sea knows when she will rock the boat just so. Nation against nation trying to keep their birdie in the air.

“Can’t we just get rid of fencing altogether?”, you ask. We could. Or maybe…

Water polo has been called an aquatic version of rugby. But what if, just maybe, the athletes were given sabers as well? The ball goes into the other teams net, the point doesn’t count…unless you can win a sword fight. A representative from each team emerges from the pool to have an impromptu pool-side fencing match. But, here’s the kicker, the swords are sharpened. You shed blood, you’re out of the game. The last to leave the pool goes back to their country with a medal and their head held high.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “These sports seem a little violent.” Not at all. They merely give more urgency to winning. So maybe an athlete leaves London with less limbs then they came there with. Well I guess they should have worked harder. (Plus if they’re stupid enough to participate in those events they might deserve to lose a hand)

I realize it may be too late for these events to begin in 2012, but I was hoping they could make their debuts in Rio for the 2016 games. Just let me know if these examples weren’t discriptive enought. I can draw some diagrams if you need, or give a sample of the event itself if you can provide me some athletes.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!


P.S. Michael Phelps is unaware I have given him the nickname Albatross Arms. If you run into Michael Phelps and call him by this nickname, do not tell him you heard it from me. I don’t want him to think I’m a weirdo, ok.