The Real Deal What new discipline should the Olympics admit?

Each week, two journalists from the sports section face off in a rhetorical contest that is sometimes serious, often less so. This week, Simon Drouin and Frédérick Duchesneau have racked their brains and come up with new disciplines that they believe should be admitted to the Olympic Games.

Posted Dec 21 2020 Simon Drouin La PresseFrédérick Duchesneau La Presse

Frédérick

Hi, Simon! I know you well enough to be well aware of the Olympic sports enthusiast in you, but not to the point of knowing if the cinematographic repertoire is also part of your many strings. Anyway, have you ever seen The Great Seduction? This Quebec film, from 2003, where the inhabitants of Sainte-Marie-la-Mauderne try to recruit a doctor. If so, you probably remember the scene where the doc arrives by boat and sees the villagers in the middle of a (fake) cricket match. At that time, I was as doubtful as them about this sport. Not anymore. Give me Thomas Bach's seat and cricket is admitted to the Olympics on the spot! There was only one Olympic year there, in 1900. Only two countries were represented: Great Britain and France… which mainly had English players. Since then, all the efforts of the International Cricket Federation to reintegrate the Olympics have remained in vain.

Simon

Cricket? Are you serious Fred? On this morning when it was -18 oC, I had to step outside to be sure that I had not dreamed. Of course, I saw The Great Seduction. I remember that Lucie Laurier had a role in it. It is his character who exposes the deception to the young cricket-loving doctor like you. So I did my research: a match can last from a few hours to several days. Do you think the IOC and broadcaster NBC will accept this? Maybe an express sevens version, like in rugby. But let's be serious. I have another suggestion: cyclocross. Yes, yes, this spectacular cycling discipline where riders sometimes get off their bikes to overcome obstacles in the race. Mathieu Van der Poel and Wout Van Aert, two of the biggest stars in cycling today, are experts. Quebecer Maghalie Rochette is one of the best in the world. She fully deserves to participate in the Olympics. What ? Would that be a lot of cycling with road, track and BMX? We just have to add it to the program of the Winter Games, as proposed by the International Cycling Union. I hope this proposal will warm your heart, dear Fred.

Frédérick

Yes, those were the good old days for MmeLaurier. Without masks. Without vaccine. With many roles. But back to sports. Well, cycling at the Winter Games… Why not bobsleigh at the Summer Games? Or ski jumping? Landing in the grass, I assume it's playable.

Simon

The real business What a new discipline the Games should the Olympics admit?

Would have to ask Eddy the Eagle, but it would take a good turf glider wax, I think.

Frédérick

No doubt. Parenthesis, you have to be a bit crazy to jump into the void at such a height, with skis on your feet. You will tell me that it is still safer than sledding. But I digress. Again. As for your cyclocross, OK, I like it. But can we calm down a bit with this need to integrate new disciplines that are more “young” and sometimes look at traditional sports that have been forgotten or, at least, put aside? Isn't the Olympic movement, basically, the guardian of disciplines that have a certain historical richness? So, I'm not giving up. My cricket. Baseball was re-admitted for the Tokyo Games, after two Games on the sidelines. Cricket is like baseball, but with more merit. Guys catch the ball with their bare hands, Simon. With bare hands! Not with a padded leather glove 30 centimeters in diameter. But the snobbery towards cricket is undoubtedly due in part to ignorance. Want me to explain?

Simon

Let me turn the volume down a bit first. I listen to hip-hop, Fred, would you believe it? I am preparing for the Paris Olympics in 2024, where breakdance will make its debut as an Olympic discipline. I can already sense your enthusiasm. Breakdance is young and urban, as the IOC wishes. I don't want to lecture you, but the first cyclocross race was organized in 1902 by a French soldier named Daniel Gousseau. Two years after your cricket at the Paris Olympics, but we understand each other. By the way, did you know that a croquet competition was held at these same Games? Do you also want the reintegration of this discipline of which I was champion during a memorable tournament at Lac Clair in 2003? True story, but I stop messing around. I agree with you: the IOC sometimes disperses itself too much to repatriate a lost youth. I want you to explain cricket to me. Ronald King, my first division manager, tried his hand, but I'm not sure he understood it himself.

Frédérick

It's my karma, apparently. As with Guillaume two weeks ago about wrestling, I am being washed away in history. So, the rules of cricket… Nah, bad idea. We would probably lose a good part of the readers who have followed us so far. Those whose curiosity has been piqued need only google it. Or, better yet, to read my series on sports from elsewhere which will start during the holidays. But it will be over eight weeks and, since we usually save the best for last, the cricket should not appear until February 14. Valentine's Day, well. Life is sometimes good. OK, let's end this more seriously. Yes, I really enjoy cricket. And, sincerely, if we only consider the sport itself, I would not find it absolutely absurd to see this discipline one day added to the list of Olympic events. But your argument about the length of matches is unstoppable. I agree that would be nonsense. So, go for cyclocross. Unless you've thrown in the first sport to pop into your head and have a better idea, but that's better than breakdancing anyway. Frankly. Of course it's entertaining to watch. And they are wonderful dancers. But at the Olympics? The CIO is sinking a little there...

Simon

Excuse me for the delay in answering, Fred. You see, my three oldest are doing distance school today. Under the circumstances, the youngest refused to go to daycare. Fortunately, the - 18 oC helping, my skating rink is ready in the backyard. Wait, I'm sending you a picture...

Not bad for a guy from Rosemont, huh? With all that, I almost missed my Zoom workout in the living room. The joys of 2020. Like this UCI virtual cycling world championship, won by a German rower. I'm afraid: the CIO is eyeing video games... What were we already saying? Ah yes, breakdancing. I agree with you. It's athletic, no doubt there, but sporty? On this account, I would have preferred parkour, which was also in the running for Paris 2024. Besides, I was very serious with cyclocross. But I did not do a long analysis. It's more for personal interest. By its universality, cricket also defends itself very well. I can't wait to read your sports series. Who knows, maybe Thomas Bach will discover something there for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

Frédérick

Wow, well done for the ice rink! A dad emeritus. In return, I see a Bruins toque. You won't leave only good influences to your offspring… As for my streak, well, if the IOC is keeping dead goats in stock, then one of my eight sports actually has a chance to stand. clear a path. You will understand when the time comes. Honestly, I very much doubt that any of them will ever make it to the Olympics. But if I'm wrong, count on me to remind you at each of our Monday morning meetings!

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