Monday, July 26, 2010
It is now abundantly clear that the Olympic sailing organizers got it all wrong with the "medal race" concept - the idea that they would make the last race of the regatta more exciting by allowing only the top ten sailors to race in it, awarding double points, and not allowing that score to be thrown out.
Sailing should instead learn from the immensely popular sport of cycling and copy the Tour de France format where, for reasons I have not been able to discover or understand, the last stage is largely ceremonial. So, this year, Alberto Contador, who was leading Andy Schleck by the slimmest of margins, cruised along in the final "race" sipping champagne, shooting his friends with a squirt gun, and sticking his fingers in the air to indicate how many times he had won the Tour. Apparently Mr. Schleck was too much of a nice guy to pedal a bit harder and beat Mr. Contador while he was performing these antics. Or something.
Fantastic. Let's do it, Olympic sailing organizers. Scrap the medal race. Go for the ceremonial race. A bottle of champagne and a squirt gun on every boat and let's party.