Lamke: Olympic sports not what they used to be

By Tony Lamke - The Old Coach

Once again we have spent two weeks watching the world do battle in a variety of events (33 events with about 50 off-shoots) for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and, don’t forget, “National Pride.”

Yes, the 2020 Olympics, which played out in 2021 because of the pandemic, are history. The United States did well winning more total medals (113) than the any other nation. USA athletes also won more gold medals (39).

There were some upsets and some surprises as we watched the Games and that is what makes sports interesting. Without upsets why would you watch. It would be same old, same old.

Every year I say the same thing, I will not spend my time, which at my age is a valuable commodity, watching, but as in past Olympics, I spend more time than I think. There were some very exciting moments, too many to review. But I have to wonder just where the Olympics are headed.

The ancient Greeks had very few events, running, throwing, jumping, lifting, wrestling were the main ones. But as I watched this year I began to wonder about some of the contests. Now, please keep in mind, I like all of what I saw and have played many of the sports or events. My point is this … Do they rate an Olympic event?

Baseball and softball are great sports, but Olympic sports? France, where the next Summer Olympics take place, has already tossed them out.

Badminton is a great backyard game, but in the Olympics?

Rock climbing?

Team handball?



Synchronized swimming?

Shoot, even tennis and golf in my mind do not rate Olympic competition.

You can watch a lot of these on TV and some are fun to watch but in the Olympics? I think not.

Over the years some sports have been dropped such as cricket, tug of war, lacrosse, croquet, motor boating and several more.

I think the Olympic committee had better drop a few more and bring the Olympics back to what they were meant to be. Maybe when they come to the United States again, we would consider tiddly-winks, hop scotch and a wild card game of Old Maid as our contribution to the Games.

By Tony Lamke

The Old Coach

Tony Lamke is a former coach. He writes a periodic column for the News Journal. He can be reached at [email protected]

Tony Lamke is a former coach. He writes a periodic column for the News Journal. He can be reached at [email protected]