Monday, May 09, 2011

5 Olympic Sports That Became Extinct


1. Pelote Basque. When it made its sole appearance in the Olympics, Spain was awarded the gold medal by beating France.




2. Tug of War. This was an Olympic sport in five Olympic Games (1900, 1904,  1908, 1912, and 1920).




3. Croquet. First appeared in 1900. Then it was removed from the Olympics altogether.




4. Powerboating. This was only played during the 1908 Olympics. Only two competitors joined the three events with one competitor actually finishing each race.




5. Keelboat racing. Declared extinct as an Olympic sport by the International Sailing Federation at their meeting in St. Petersburg in May 2011.

34 comments:

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

#5 is a disgusting decision, if you ask me, which you didn't.

Tillerman said...

Why do you think they did decide to eliminate keelboats from the Olympics? I really have no opinion either way. Just curious as to how these decisions are made.

Baydog said...

I hope it didn't have anything to do with kiteboarding, which I think is cool, but hasn't earned enough salt to overthrow such a venerable class. And catamarans are cool too, but...

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Has anybody written any right-a-way rules for Kite-boarding? My Doberwoman is certainly convinced that they are legitimate and edible prey.

Smilicus said...

Still trying to wake from the nightmare in which I heard Keelers are out of the olympics......NO wait,it is not a nightmare, it is real - WHY, O WHY???

JP said...

Outrageous - bring back croquet!

Tillerman said...

I don't think it has anything to do with kiteboarding Baydog. As I understand it, ISAF has left open the option of kiteboarding replacing windsurfing, so it had no effect on the keelboat decision.

The two events added are a women's high performance skiff and a mixed gender multihull. (If you recall the multihull event was dropped for the 2012 Olympics but it has now been re-instated for 2016.)

The two classes dropped are the Star and the women's keelboat match racing.

A comment from the racing manager/ performance director of the British RYA may explain the logic. "The mood of the meeting clearly showed, though, that the retention of the keelboat events is not the right thing for the future growth and appeal of the sport in Olympic terms right now, and that the events chosen reflect more the mass participation of young sailors within sailing, and the RYA supports those views."

Bring back the tug-of-war, I say

John in PDX said...

Olympic sailing is now dead to me. After watching the gross misuse of dollars in Whistler last year and the corruption as in Utah. The decision on where it is held every 4 years is a boondogle. I will direct my sailing donations elsewhere.

I feel like Olympic sailing has become the BCS of College Football.

That being said - good luck to all of our men and women that will compete.

I difference of opinion is what makes a horse race. I always bet on a mudder when it rains.

Joel Taylor said...

I don't think Keel Boats are the issue, I think Stars are the issue. The boat is extremely tweeky, difficult to sail well, almost never sailed relationally, and adds to the elitist image of sailing. In short I am glad the star is not in the Olympic any more. We need classes that people actually can participate in, not ancient irrelevant dinosaurs.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Joel Makes a good point. The Etchells would be a good selection to represent keel boats.

One more point about kite boarders, who are trying to organize beer can races for themselves on Friday afternoons in my venue. Our race director observed that they are still trying to figure out how to tack!

BlueVark said...

Clearly there is a shortage of space in the olympic schedule so:

Tie two keelboats together with tug-o-war rope.

Add outboard motor for more pulling power.

Have crews throw croquet balls at each other using Pelote mitts.

Last man standing wins.

Sam Chapin said...

Stars ave been out before.

Litoralis said...

Joel Taylor said..."The boat is extremely tweeky, difficult to sail well, almost never sailed relationally, and adds to the elitist image of sailing."

Not quite sure what Joel means by "sailed relationally," but his first two points are good reasons why the Star should be in the Olympics. Also, I don't think the Star adds to the elitist image of sailing; the little rich kids sailing double handed dinghies at their private yacht clubs with their Mommy boats add much more to the elitist image of sailing than Star sailors, who I have found to me much more like Laser sailors than other keelboat sailors, e.g., more likely to be found drinking beer in the parking lot after a regatta in their sailing gear than sipping G&T at the yacht club bar.

Baydog said...

Actually, Gin and Tonics in the parking lot in red solo cups, until the cheese doodle dust makes them slip out of your hands.

Stars should stay.

Tillerman said...

I suspect that "sailed relationally" means "sailed with other members of your family"?

Lots of husbands and wives sail dinghies together, and many people sail keelboats as a family group, often parents and kids. Whereas Stars seem to be sailed by one big guy looking for an excuse to get away from his wife for the weekend and another even more enormous guy looking for an excuse to get away from his wife for the weekend.

Also it's not quite clear to me why the claim that the members of certain classes drink beer in the parking lot is a good argument as to why those classes deserve places in the Olympics? Did ISAF consider this factor?

Actually it's also not quite clear to me why it's bad for a class to have an elitist image. Isn't the Olympics for the elite in any sport?

Baydog said...

But there's a difference between being among the elite and being elitist.

Tillerman said...

But can one class be an elite class as compared to another? Is the Star more elite than a Catalina 22, say (no offence intended to Catalina 22 owners)? Do you need to to have a higher level of skill to sail a Star than a Catalina 22? Does that give the Star an elitist image? Is that a good reason for kicking it out of the Olympics? Is that a good reason for putting the Catalina 22 in the Olympics? Will there be beer in the car park after sailing? Will there be cheez doodles?

What was the question again?

O Docker said...

I think you're confusing the technically elite and the socially elite.

The socially elite don't eat Cheez Doodles.

Wasn't the Star starting to get a bad rap as being way too expensive to campaign for people who do eat Cheez Doodles?

Tillerman said...

I think you are right O Docker.

The use of this word "elite" annoys me intensely. In general I am in favor of people who are good at what they do being allowed to do what they do in preference over people who are no good at what they do. Apparently this makes me an elitist, which is a bad thing. But I am unrepentant.

I suppose that makes me a "technical elitist". I have no patience with people who think they are better than other people because their Daddy owns half of Yorkshire, or was POTUS, or discovered oil in Pennsylvania. Those guys are "social elitists" right?

I am not sure whether Star sailors eat Cheez Doodles. At least one of the other commenters on this thread used to be a Star sailor. Maybe he can provide some insight on this burning issue.

O Docker said...

Giving this some more thought (always a dangerous thing), I think Baydog may have discovered another important distinction amongst sailors - the non Cheez Doodlers who look like this and the real sailors who look like this.

Tillerman said...

Ms Cheez Doodle. Can you trapeze? Let's do lunch.

Olivia said...

I once discovered oil in Pennsylvania. It was on the driveway underneath my Dad's Ford Torino wagon. But then he spread kitty litter on top of it or something. I feel that a Star sailor would do the same thing, under those circumstances.

Baydog said...

Liv- please sign out.

Joel Taylor said...

Dam spell check. Relationally should have been recreational. The only time the Stars at my club leave the dock is one or two practice sails before regattas and on race day.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

on Second thought, I think the representative of Keel boats in the Olympic should be Harbor-20's so us septo-genarians can compete with of you - the callow youth.

Smilicus said...

On an other note - TO attract the young to sailing, why not add the Hydrofoil moth to the mix? Now there is bound to be some real extreme sailing with awesome capsizes, etc

Tillerman said...

So Joel, are you saying that a qualification for a boat to be in the Olympics is that it should be sailed "recreationally"? If a boat is such a technical racing machine that it is hardly ever sailed recreationally then you wouldn't allow it in the Olympics?

Are the bikes used in Olympic track cycling ever used for recreation? Are the boats used in Olympic rowing ever taken for a gentle Sunday afternoon spin up the river?

Sailing actually seems to be an anomaly among Olympic sports in that some of the exact same equipment is used for recreation. Certainly people like me do go out for a recreational blast on their Lasers. I do that more than racing.

But I've never thought before about recreational use being a requirement for being an Olympic class. What do others think? Should Olympic boats be selected because they are used by Mr. Everyman, recreational sailor?

BlueVark said...

Recreationsl use? Quite the contrary.

In any sport (not just sailing) i expect Olympic athletes to by the pinacle of there sport, i want them to be exceptional (i wont re-open debate by using the term elite!).

The cyclists use bikes never seen on a country lane. The archers use bows that are so technical it is scary. In many Olympic sports the equipment used is cutting edge and advanced so that many recreational sportsmen would not have the ability/taqlent to use it effectively if at all.

But that is what i want from Olympic athletes - the best of the best who can amaze me and do what i cannot.

BlueVark said...

Sorry for the typing errors in last post. Those keys just will not stop moving around :(

Tillerman said...

Great point BlueVark. And that is no doubt the reason that that boats like high performance skiffs are in the Olympics, and why the Star was in for so long too.

But it does seem that ISAF also look at other issues like the accessibility of Olympic sailing to the maximum number of countries which is presumably why boats like the Laser and Laser Radial are in the Olympics. This equipment is hardly advanced or cutting edge, even if the athletes do sail them with a skill level which ordinary mortals never attain.

At the last Olympics the 16 Star teams came from 11 major European nations, USA, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and the host nation (China). What about countries like Malaysia, Seychelles, Barbados, Korea, Israel and Belarus? We must never forget Belarus.

Tillerman said...

Olivia, welcome to Proper Course. I hope you will leave comments here any time you feel like it. Especially ones that might embarrass your Dad.

Noodle said...

May I? Was the Olympics not meant to be a competition among amateurs, whereas world championships where supposed to be for pros?
Another thing... how come it is always about the spectators, the young, the outsiders? When will it be about the people actually doing the sport itself?
No keelboats allowed!? Those people in that committy cannot be thinking straight. They probably need more time on the water... they clearly do not know that guy, what's his name Jack Something...

Tillerman said...

Noodle, you look pretty young. You should be pleased about all the events for women. Are you trying to qualify for the Olympics? Maybe in the Laser Radial? Or the new women's high performance skiff event?

Dana Reed said...

In response to the recreational aspect of this thread, I think the point is that I don't see Stars being used recreational. At my previous club, there were husband and wife teams that went for a Sunday row in their double performance rowing shell. Stars just don't seem to do that.
I think this makes a poor choice for an Olympic keel boat because it limits the amount of people who actually use the boat. If more people use similar equipment to what is used on the Olympic stage, then the sport gets better exposure from its Olympic events.

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