As the Games of the XXIX Olympiad wind down, it appears I have developed an immunity to the Olympics bug. There, I said it! Sure, I heard of Michael Phelps. Ate gold medals! (OK, bad joke). I even caught a glimpse of several media-selected sports in which the U.S. had strong gold medal aspirations (and for all I know got them), and was disappointed that the 20K men's march event --where Ecuador won a silver medal-- was not broadcast because no U.S. athletes were in contention. However, it is far from an all-consuming addiction. Lots of world records being broken in water sports... yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Failed baton passes... huh?
I suppose that is why, as some of you have correctly pointed-out, despite the ripe parallels between Olympics and donuts (Olympic rings resemble donuts, medals are round, China has 48 gold medals --that's four dozen, etc.), the topic has been absent from this forum. A deficiency I intend to remedy immediately.
In the Olympic spirit, and with the near-certainty you've watched every event (available on U.S. media, that is), I've prepared a Q&A that strays a little bit off the beaten path. Perhaps you were asking yourself some of the same questions:
- Q. When did sports like Badminton and Ping-Pong (sorry... I meant Table Tennis) start getting taken seriously?
- A. Apparently, 1992 and 1988 respectively
- Q. If the above so-called sports can be included why don't we see other silly sports like Basque Pelota, Jeu de Paume or Tug of War?
- A. As a matter-of-fact, these three sports were once medal sports in the Olympics. Basque Pelota was played at the 1900 and also 1928,1968,1992; Jeu de Paume at the 1908 Olympiad and, believe it or not, Tug of War had a 5 consecutive Olympiad streak from 1900 to 1920
- Q. At least we've still got Baseball and Softball, right?
- A. Not for long. The Beijing Olympiad is the last to sport these great American pastimes (for now). The Brits are pulling the plug in 2012, so enjoy them while you can
- Q. What is the longest standing Olympic record?
- A. If we don't count sports that are no longer played (given the physical impossibility of breaking a record at the Olympiad if that particular sport is not being played), then an American holds this distinction. It is in the ever-so-popular sport of Long Jump. Bob Beamon jumped an astounding 8.90m (that's over 29 ft!) in the 1968 Olympics. It was the world record until 1991, however, no one participating in the Olympics has broken this record.
- Q. Is there any hope of Donut Eating ever becoming an Olympic sport?
- A. Although there are no immediate plans (or any plans at all for that matter), I think that Charles Jacobus might hold hope for it (if he were alive today). Charles, of course, is the American player who won the only Roque Olympic gold medal ever in 1904... where the U.S. was the only competing team. What is Roque you ask? That, my friend, is a topic for another day.
With little hope of ever becoming an Olympic sport, you may be asking yourself why you have been "practicing" donut consumption all these years. Actually, come to think of it, you're probably NOT asking yourself that question, after all, donut consumption is its own reward! Today, Ed Stocker our best hope for a gold medal if/when we get a slot at the Olympics delights us today with a broad selection of delicious confections. So without further delay, on your marks, get set, go get yourself a donut.