I had a(nother) great idea this morning as I drove to work. I heard sports writer Frank Deford discussing the Olympics, and mentioning that it was kind of needlessly squashed together in one venue in the tradition of the ancient Greeks; he said that they might as well, in this age of television, hold the different events in different places. He may have been mentioning it tongue-in-cheek, but it's an opinion I've heard before.
Deford also mentioned that Sochi, Russia, which is the site of the 2014 games, had temperatures in the 70s last week—even warmer that it was in Vancouver.
This got me thinking about how we should revamp the Olympics.
For one thing, I think we could digitize the athletes. If we took all the athletes and ran them through thorough biometric-recording drills, we could get accurate measurements of their strength, stamina, and dexterity and enter the numbers into a sophisticated database. We could also do the same thing with results of psychological profiling. While doing all this, we can hook them up to
You can see where I'm going with this. Yes! A fully digital Virtual Olympics. Once we have all the data, Virtual Olympics organizers can run the digital athletes through events in any order and combination they want. Courses, slopes, and half-pipes can be programmed into the computer in an infinite number of combinations. You could actually make the luge run as lethal as you want, with a pit of flaming crocodile-hyenas over which the sledders must jump. Hell, you could even program the snowcross athletes to carry swords and hack at each other as they race. The International Virtual Olympic Committee would verify that the physical stats for each virtual athlete accurately portray those of a real athlete.
Then this could be turned into a weekly show, and the different nations would buy each individual show and create the parameters under which they think their athletes have the best chance. If
Another great idea: A Wiilympics! Hook every single Wii in the world up to a single display. The athletes for each event are an average of all actions performed by all the game players using their Wii consoles in their living rooms (the American skier, for instance, is a mass hybrid of all Americans who are standing on their special Wii pads at that moment, playing the game.) That's very democratic, and the little Wii guy who appears on the screen would truly be a representative of the nation.
If you think that wipes out athletic excellence in favor athletic averages (which it would), and you think that's a problem (an understandable sentiment), then we could still hook the Wii controllers up to real, talented athletes. We could also just randomly pick people from across the country.
Go ahead and laugh! But I'm telling you, it's just a matter of a few Olympiads before the virtual cybernetic descendants of today's video games are on the Olympic agenda. Cyborgs might require their own Olympics in the same vein as the Special Olympics and the Paralympics, but that won't last long. In 40 years, the Quaint Olympics for the Unenhanced Humans will seem as old-timey and anachronistic as the original Olympics (bring back the chariot races!) would to us now.