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Manliest Summer Olympic Sporting Events

7 August 2008 5 Comments

Beijing is a just a few days away and I am usually not that interested in what goes on. But this year, the summer games are being held in China – the hotbed of just about everything as of late. From business to oil to imports to exports to autos to politics to whatever – China is center stage.

As I was running down the schedule my next couple of weeks of 3:00 AM TV watching, I really wanted to make sure I was taking in all the right events. If I was caught watching Equestrian while chomping through my Arugula salad while waiting in dire anticipation for women’s table tennis to start, it would be the end of me.

No, I needed to map out exactly when there was a good chance I would see blood or some guy soil himself from the shear pain of his event. In order to fill the manly quota for the month, we need to see carnage and what better time than the Olympics to do so.

Here are the manliest summer Olympic sporting events where there is a good chance you might see someone pass out – including yourself.

7) Men’s Gymnastics

These guys are in ridiculous physical shape. They wear tights and are all 5 foot 3 inches which put them at the bottom of this list, but they are included since they can do things the manliest of normal men would pee themselves trying. The shear insanity of the Pommel Horse to one’s manhood is enough to make me cry just at the thought of something going wrong – and you know these guys are not wearing cups. Think about the other events – floor exercise; still rings; vault; parallel bars and high bar. Can’t think of one where if something goes wrong, there isn’t severe carnage. Remember the guy who missed the vault springboard and ended up going full steam face first? That was awesome…

6) Weightlifting

These guys (and gals that look like guys) can lift amounts over their heads only matched by ants. Seriously, an ant’s prowess in this area is unbelievable (look it up). The dead-lift; clean and jerk; and snatch (not making that one up) are all disciplines in this event. Every time I watch it, I sit patiently anticipating the next knee-buckling attempt at a new world record. Someday, the weight will be too much for the arms to handle and you will see an arm come off like the good old days of SNL – it’ll happen, I know it.

5) Wrestling

Either Greco Roman or Freestyle, you will see some serious manliness here. There is always some Russian guy or some farmboy that goes to the perennial wrestling college, Iowa University, that hasn’t lost in like 5 years. They go on to win the gold easily and in the process, show off the massive cauliflower ears they have cultivated over the years. They also are all in pretty much ridiculous physical shape as well – except for that Rulon guy that beat that Russian a few years back.

4) TaeKwonDo

I am sure not all are impressed with this pick, but watch the video (make sure to turn off the cheesy sound) and you will see how AWESOME this is. Almost always, some guy is getting his head removed from his body by a roundhouse from some other guy from Asia. The flexibility is phenomenal and there is plenty of action. They could make this a little manlier by not forcing them to wear the headgear, but someone would die – seriously.

3) Decathlon

These guys participate in 10 body numbing events over a period of just two freaking days. It finishes up with the 1500 meters (1 mile for us Americans) and almost invariably has one of the participants on the verge of soiling themselves from exhaustion. The winner is usually stumbling across the line looking for the first patch of grass they can find to collapse onto.

2) Boxing

Nothing more manly than the art of pugilism at the highest level (with the exception of #1 on this list). The competitors are up and coming stars of the sport and have left some of the most incredible Olympic moments carved in our brain. The Greeks and Romans introduced this event in the Ancient Olympic Games by wrapping leather around the hands of the competitors. The event would not be over until either the other guy conceded or did not get up from getting pummeled. Ahhhh, the good old days…

1) Men’s 100 Meter Run

Besides for the most infamous star in Olympic History, Ben Johnson, this event gives us the fastest man alive. Think about that for a moment – the fastest man alive. There is arguably not a better title to have. This is all about raw, unadulterated speed. Nothing less than 10 seconds of perfection. If you watch it, there will be about an hour of nothing leading up to the event, 2 minutes of your heart pumping like it wants to flop out of your chest, and then INCREDIBLE action!


  • Mike Bates said:

    What, no shotput (hurling heavy objects about)? No archery (references to combat and hunting)? I nominate one of those to take the place of gymnastics. Sure, those guys are incredible athletes, but they have to wear leotards.

    A good and timely list, my friend.

  • Kevin (author) said:

    These are good points.

    Archery seems a little silly to me, though. I like the combat and hunting references, but unless they are shooting the arrows at each other in the competition, I don’t get it.

    Shotput is a good one. Decathletes have to do this along with the javelin, long jump, triple jump (don’t get this one either) and all kinds of other stuff. Those guys are clutch…

    BTW, have you ever tried to pole vault? It is UNBELIEVABLY impossible!!!!

  • Mike Bates said:

    Yeah, that takes some crazy technique and upper body strength. Personally, as a man, I’m offended that they’re taking baseball off the list of games for 2012 (too expensive and not popular enough) and adding BMX racing.

  • Kevin (author) said:

    Agreed. The NHL goes on a 10 day hiatus for the pros to be able to play. Baseball could do the same if they wanted.

    The players, though, are second only to golf pros as the ultimate sports mercenaries. They are COMPLETELY about making the coin.

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