Contests in skills for modern
The problem. Modern Olympic sports focus on
the skills of the warrior and hunter -
the running and leaping and throwing and hitting, the records for
going fast and high and far and hard, and for teams like hunting
bands. These skills were needed for ancient Greece. What skills
beyond healthy exercise for everyone are more needed for elites
A solution - SkillOlympics
Modern Skill events such as sheep-shearing and timber-cutting
could nto be great spectator sports before TV. But TV can make now
great spectator sport out of many skills needed for modern life, not
just for ancient Greece. SkillOlympics would make marvellous TV. A
videocamera can pick up every detail of the skills of a movement,
play it slow, edit a sequence and summarise it, and show people
racing neck and neck who may not even be in the same stadium or
Events for SkillOlympics:
Almost any skill can be developed for
Skill-Olympics if a club can organise to arrange events. Weeding,
cartooning, dishwashing tested against machines, skilful
safe-driving, packing lunches, floor-cleaning, mending and patching,
crochet, ditch-digging, reading and remembering a book, hairdressing,
taking a dog for a run, bricklaying, monster jigsaws, tree-climbing,
counter-checkout, shop-window-displays with materials given,
impromptu verse, recitation, gift-wrapping, ditch-digging,
toddler-training, thistle-slashing, blackberry-destroying, manual
lawnmowing, reading to toddlers, DIY carpentry, carpet cleaning,
getting babies to sleep with lullabies, getting correct change from a
purseful of coins, - and at the end of the event, your home or
workplace can be far better than it was before!
SkillOlympics events need not be limited to international events.
Each country can bring entrants for its own
cultural special skills - such as
carving in wood or stone, graffiti, basket-making, cuisine, origami,
elaborate hair-dressing, embroidered jackets, inventing novelties,
calligraphy, yodeling, singing lullabies.
Some of the old Greek Olympian contests in
poetry and drama and music were dropped
when Olympics were revived because modern Olympics could focus only
on what can be seen from a distance, dramatically, by enormous
audiences. They required scores that can be objectively measured or
timed. But since they can now be shown in detail by television
cameras and judged by television panels, these ancient competitions
could also be reinstated as international SkillOlympic events.
Advantages of SkillOlympics.
- Spectators enjoy the thrills of
the contest - and find themselves learning the skills too.
- Years spent training for SkillOlympics are not wasted for the losers, nor for
the victors, long after their medals. SportsOlympics competitors,
losers and winners, can devote their youth to going up and down or
to and fro or round and round e.g. 35,000 kilometres traversed in
paddle practise was regarded as 'wasted' by a Barcelona kayak
competitor who 'only got bronze'.
- Everyone can have a chance to
compete in a SkillOlympics, because such a wider variety of talent
can be encouraged, not just physical abilities that are limited to
the few who are constitutionally outstanding.
- Non-sexist. In many skills in
SkillOlympics men and women can compete together without
discrimination. In SportsOlympics,
men and women have to compete separately in almost all
events, because record-making women cannot reach the standard of
the record-breaking men. This is because in early societies men
evolved as the hunter warriors, valuing great physical strength
and speed for sudden intense exertion, but women as
gardener-gatherers needed endurance and patience for constant
toil. So for young girls and women, outdoor games and sports have
been intrinsically enjoyable non-competitive pastimes, whereas
they have been tests of manhood for primitive male egos.
- No doping and other such scandals that bedevil Sports Olympics. They would hardly help in a
SkillOlympics. Nobody need risk their future health by drugging up
- which is likely only to slug up their skills.
- SkillOlympics can further attract
tourists by encouraging picturesque local skills and
culture - which will also benefit the host town for a
- Any little place can start up its
SkillOlympics. It does not need vast and varied stadia, as long as
there can be a TV audience somewhere in the world.
- SkillOlympics are less
Panels of judges can rate subjective features like quality of
product and grace of movement, and a common final judgement is
blazoned at the touch of a computer key.
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