Just Wondering

I love watching the Olympics, and have written about it already, but I had a few things I was wondering about that I just cannot seem to get off of my mind.

For example, what is the big deal with Gabby Douglas’s hair?  I watched a lot of her routines both at the Olympic Trials and in London, and don’t see what people are all abuzz about.  I must be missing something.

Over the last few days, Olympic coverage, at least during the day, has been interesting (maybe not the right word).  I have seen gymnasts jumping on a trampoline, women’s playing field hockey, men’s and women’s water polo, archery, volleyball, fencing, and dressage.  That’s right, dressage.

What is dressage you ask?  I am glad you did.  It is a competitive equestrian event (I will not use the word “sport” here, but Wikipedia does).  And watching horse ballet left me downright confused and wondering.  Wondering how dressage is even considered a sport and is in the Olympics?

Maybe my definition of sport is different from a lot of people.  Apparently it is different than those at the IOC.  To me, a sport requires some sort of athletic achivement.  What exactly is the athletic achievement in making a horse strut around an arena?  Horse racing is a sport because the jockey is actually performing a meaningful task to get his or her horse to run faster.  It bothers me that Olympic medals are handed out for dressage, yet baseball and softball are not even in the Olympics anymore.  You could probably ask a large sampling of people on the street to watch a video of a baseball game, softball game, and dressage event, and a vast majority would at least be able to identify baseball and softball, while very few would even know how to pronounce dressage, let alone know what it is.  Even if they are not a fanatical baseball fan like I am, most people know some of the bare basics of the sport.

I will probably be left wondering why dressage is an Olympic event and baseball and softball are not.  At least poetry is no longer an Olympic event, like it was in 1928, 1938, and 1946.  Maybe sunflower seed spitting or hot dog eating will make the lineup for Rio in 2016.  For the next 10 days or so, I will enjoy real athletes competing in real sports at the Olympics, and just be left wondering how horse ballet can win someone a medal.


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