Mixing up the Olympics

Last weekend I spend a few hours watching the Olympics.  I don’t know why but the curling event caught my attention.  It’s an interesting game but I have one question.  Why are there a women’s team and a men’s team?  There isn’t any inherent strength involved that would give men an advantage over women.  And there are not any points given to style or grace so women would not enjoy an advantage over men like in figure skating.  

I think that the Olympics would be much more interesting if they would have more (I can’t name any) mixed sports.  Curling seems to be a perfect place to start. 

I wonder what other sports would be good to mix it up a bit?

-PF

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9 thoughts on “Mixing up the Olympics

  1. caveblogem says:

    Last week’s episode of The Simpsons had Marge and Homer at the Vancouver Olympics for a demonstration competition in mixed curling. Looked pretty good, although all of the people looked jaundiced.

  2. I guess couples figure skating is the only co-ed sport in the Olympics. Not sure why it wouldn’t work with curling. I have to say I have been totally into the curling. Probably because it’s on TV every night.

  3. Burrowowl says:

    I think co-ed is the perfect solution to the Title 9 problem. Let the boys and the girls play together, and let the best athletes of whatever gender shine. Of course, I’m also for requiring that women register for selective service or forfeit their suffrage, but I’m an intellectually-honest feminist.

    As an example: this year they bumped the men’s luge starting line down to where the women start. The gold medal after went to Felix Loch, who had a combined time of 3:13.085 after four runs. On the women’s side, Tatjana Huefner won with a combined time of 2:46.524. I assume from the half-minute time difference that the pigs at the IOC also bumped the women’s starting line down the track, so this is an apples-to-oranges comparison, but it seems to me that they really ought to let the best compete with the best.

  4. Layman Pong says:

    I’ve curled a couple of times at the Cleveland Skating Club, and I’ll say your point is correct: it’s a finesse and balance game, a gender leveler.

  5. S. Le says:

    I also agree on co-ed curling. Why the heck not?

  6. Mark says:

    They “bumped” the mens luge starting line out of a safety concern after the death in the practice runs. But you would think the luge would be one of those sports where the genders would be fairly equal, but I don’t know enough about the nuances to say one way or another.

    This (gender equality) has been going on for decades now. I remember when they had 55 year old Bobby Riggs (a decent player in his day) play the much younger (29) and multiple Wimbledon and US Open champion Billie Jean King in the early 70’s I watched it as a young boy thinking that it was totally ridiculous. Though she slaughtered him in straight sets, it was hardly a fair way to evaluate it from either perspective. It was billed as a “Battle of the Sexes”, but it was more of a media contrived farce than anything.

    You’ve also seen golfers like Anneka Sorenstam and Michelle Wie cross over to the mens game…..and not perform all that well. Golf is very much a skill and finesse sport, but there are other physical factors at play.

    And today you see Danica Patrick racing NASCAR with the men. She won once as an Indy driver, and finished several races in the top 10. It remains to be seen if she can translate that kind of success to stock cars.

    I can appreciate the overlapping. And if there are sports that can bridge the relative physical strength gap, then I’m all for it. But it shouldn’t be a charade or a circus. It needs to be legitimate or it only disrespects both genders.

  7. I think with luge or any gravity-dependent sport the weight of the participants is probably a factor. That seems like it would necessitate a gender division.

  8. planetross says:

    billiards and darts have no reason to separate the sexes either!
    … not that I’m putting billiards and darts in the same category as curling though.

  9. Tony says:

    Isn’t curling where they run in front of the iron slidy thing & sweep the ice. Hence women have the advantage, they are better at housework, of which sweeping is part of, so they have a feminine advantage of more practice.

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