Could we miss our Steven Bradbury underdog moment if we “simplify” the Olympic Games?
Could we miss our Steven Bradbury underdog moment if we “simplify” the Olympic Games?

BEHIND THE DESK: Could a ‘simplified’ Olympics work?

CONDENSED GAMES NO GOOD

Mitchell Keenan

WHEN the chief executive of the Olympic organising committee, Toshiro Muto, announced the Tokyo Games will be “simplified”, my first thought was “who’s going to miss out?”

Muto added the Games will “not be done with grand splendour.”

While it is clear they still intend to go ahead with the event, I worry for the athletes who have worked tirelessly to get themselves to Japan for a shot at global glory.

If the aim is to minimise risk, I see them going ahead with smaller numbers, perhaps only the top qualifiers in each sport.

This would prevent the possibility of an underdog story like Australian cult figure and speed skating Winter Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury.

It may be fair in a sense that we will be seeing purely the best of the best, but the Olympics is a platform that can drive some athletes to perform well above their level and I would hate to see them miss out.

Furthermore, another possibility could be cutting some of the newer events that were set to debut in Tokyo like skateboarding and bouldering (rock climbing).

I was very excited to see these events get a look in this year and to see the Games take a step into the future.

While this is all speculation, I do hope that we can see at least something resembling the Olympics we all love.

2020: LOWER, SLOWER, WEAKER

Tim Howard

THE detail coming out of Japan on what a “simplified” 2020 Olympics will look like in 2021 has been scarce.

Apart from the announcement from Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto that the Olympics will “not be done with grand splendour” and that organisers are looking at 200 ideas to trim the games, what this means for the sports involved is still vague.

Most sports fans have a shortlist of sports they would like to see dropped from the games.

But there are two camps of cullers.

Many believe the Olympics give rare sports – badminton for example – a chance to shine and favour killing off the big sports like golf, tennis, rugby and football, which each have their own international tournaments.

Others would like to see niche events like synchronised swimming and diving or rhythmic gymnastics (a form of dance in many eyes) the flick.

Personally the hoopla of the opening and closing ceremonies is something I could do without.

Introducing the athletes with a march into the main stadium and farewelling them with a march out at the end should be sufficient.

The sideshow of a cultural extravaganza has been only matched in generating controversy by the scoring systems of the international judges at the diving, gymnastics and the boxing.



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