You Call THAT Olympic?

Snowboard cross. Yes, friends and neighbours, if the inclusion of snowboarding in the Olympics didn’t strike you as JunkSportFriendly enough, we get to combine it with braying hopped-up motorbikes ‘n’ mud (and, of course, roller derby) to get this goofy thing. “Boardercross” the cool kids call it. Oh, it crossed the border, all right. OUT of the Olympics, say I! It emphatically lands on the Howdy Hitlist of alleged sports to be dumped from the Summer and Winter Olympics. More on the List anon.

One good thing about “boardercross”, though: it did get me to snap the friggin’ television off. The women’s final, I decided, was something I would watch because there were, after all, two of our great Canadian girls in it, ranked one and two, Ricker and Maltais, an Anglophone and a Francophone, storybook time! Storybook, that is, if you like trainwrecks. So Maëlle Ricker goes down in a scary heap for no reason the cameras picked up. (And has at least a concussion, apparently.) Dominique Maltais goes flying through the netting. Two to go, ye smiting and petulant gods, but I’d had enough. “This is ridiculous.” Click.

This was almost as bad as an overmatched but fabulously lucky Australian somehow becoming the short-track speedskating champion in Salt Lake City. (Yes, the Steven Bradbury factor. “To Bradbury” is now in the Aussie lexicon, a verb meaning to succeed when you had no business doing so. Luckily – well, by “virtue” of being slower than his competitors – he avoided the crashes of the fast guys. I like it when “slow and steady” works in the steadfast course of a long life, but not in an Olympic race.) (Yes, and short-track speedskating is out, too. What’s next in the Summer Olympics: 400 metre hurdle races run in high school gyms? Now there’s an idea…) Anyway, back to boardercross: I flipped it off in disgust, and therefore missed the Olympifarcical sight of the (should’ve been) easy winner, the American Lindsey Jacobellis, falling flat on her hot dog buns and allowing a surprised Swiss, Tanja Frieden, to Bradbury her way to one of the silliest gold medals ever awarded.

Boardercross is too random, too made-for-TV, and the Olympic event has little enough importance to the competitors themselves that a show-off move is worth the risk of winning, and chaotic results are met with a shrug. That’s boardercross. Yes, my point, exactly. Gonzo. (And don’t come back.)