Dom Joly: Jump to it for 2012 'easy' Olympics

Wrestling is for big men who don’t want to be bouncers. Isn't it simply a bar brawl in tights?

Share
Related Topics

I didn't excel at any particular sport in my prep school. It was a very competitive place with a lot of pupils and it was there that my inner slacker kicked in for the very first time. I was good at three things and none of them required much training – throwing the cricket ball (it was felt that javelins were too dangerous); the high jump, (I cleared a metre as far as I can remember... it might even have been a metre twenty); then there was baseball.

We had a North American teacher who started a baseball club. I joined it, I can't remember why, but it just took my fancy. I think I thought it was exotic and different. As it was, the way we played the game it was not much more aggressive or tricky than rounders. My small claim to fame was that I was the first person at my school to get my "colours" for baseball. If I'm honest I'm not entirely sure what the colours were awarded for – there wasn't a huge baseball-playing circuit in Oxfordshire. I think we ended up playing people a lot older than us at some American air force base and got very badly beaten. It was probably a sort of sympathy vote.

This got me to thinking about other sports that possibly don't involve quite as much training as others. Now, obviously all sports require a vast amount of dedication and training, blah, blah, blah... but sometimes when you're watching sports you do get the feeling that maybe some sports are "easier" than others. So here's my list of "easy" sports (stands back and waits for the abuse).

High jump – I'm sorry, but you can either do this or you can't. It obviously helps if you're very tall but, essentially, you run, you jump and – that's it. Compare that with the pole vault. How the hell do you even start to pole vault? It looks totally impossible. You need to get a pole – where do you go to buy a vaulting pole and how do you travel around with them? Are you allowed to do pole vault in prison? So many questions...

Long jump – just run fast and jump as far as you can. Sure, fitness plays a part but even organisers of long jump know that it's a con – that's why they came up with the triple jump. At some stage, some long jumpers were in a bar and some locals started teasing them about how easy their sport was. That evening, stung with humiliation, they came up with the concept of the triple jump, or the hop, skip and the jump as it used to be called until they realised that it sounded silly. It's pointless, but still more complicated than the long jump. That's why you have to decide long or triple. It will define you.

Shot put – big, huge man has choice. He becomes a bouncer or he takes up this sport. If it's the latter, he needs an industrial amount of talcum powder to put on his neck and a miniature cannonball. He then has to hurl said cannonball further than the other big, huge men who decided not to be bouncers. I reckon a daily training routine of around 10 minutes should probably do it.

Wrestling – this is possibly for the big, huge men who didn't want to become bouncers but felt the need to wear Lycra. I know it's strong and tough but... isn't it just a bar brawl in tights?

Olympic race walking – come on... walking as a sport? The big question here is what made competitors decide upon walking as opposed to running. The whole skill of this sport, as far as I can see, is to go as fast as you can without running. Why not just cut out the middle man and run? I find this sport deeply psychologically disturbing. I think that competitors are blocking something out, keeping a terrible secret from me.

I want a separate Olympics in London in 2012, an "easy" Olympics. All the sports that we all consider to be "easy" can have an "all comers" element to them. It'll be like the days when boxers would turn up in a town and challenge locals to take them on. It would be great – loads of people flinging themselves over the high-jump bar and somersaulting into the long-jump sand. Come on, they want the Olympics to be interactive and crowd-pleasing... you know it makes sense.

Generation BMX

Shanaze Reade, Olympic BMX hopeful, is told to "grow up". I thought the whole point of BMX was that it was "for the kids".

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: The campaigning is over. So now we wait...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
In this handout provided by NASA from the the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, weather system Arthur travels up the east coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean near Florida in space. The robotic arm of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System or Canadarm2 is seen at upper right. According to reports, Arthur has begun moving steadily northward at around 5 kt. and the tropical storm is expected to strike the North Carolina Outer Banks  

Thanks to government investment, commercial space travel is becoming a reality

Richard Branson
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week