I am sitting here in 20 degree weather during the winter in Chicago, yet here I am thinking about warm days and the next Summer Olympics. Most of that is because I have seen a few commercials for Tokyo 2021 on tv lately, which is scheduled to take place in July 2021 (hopefully, of course, amid all of the pandemic uncertainty). In reflection of that, I have been thinking about my favorite sports during the festivities.
I've always enjoyed watching the decathlon, if not only because it is the purest form of athletic assessment - have everyone participate in a series of events to see who is the best overall athlete. The 10 events that form the decathlon include long, medium, and short distance running (1500 meter, 400 meter, 100 meter), jumping (long jump, high jump), and strength (discus and javelin throw) events. The decathlon reminds me of why the Olympics were created by the ancient Greeks and is a traditional event that I hope never goes away. Athletes are so specialized in their sports in the modern days, so it is refreshing to see an all-around event like the decathlon.
The one Olympic sport that I will never be able to physicially comprehend but will always respect is gymnastics. The all-around gymnastics event is fascinating to watch - the men and women are able to run, jump, flip, and twist their bodies in ways that I could never move, and they do so with perfect balance and landing skills. How they do not break every bone in their legs or get a concussion every time they do something, I have no idea. I have the ultimate respect for these athletes, and it is always fun to watch this novelty sport one every 4 years.
Finally, my favorite Olympic sport (summer or winter) has always been the men's 100 meter dash. This is an adrenaline pumping event that has the coolest implications possible - crowning the world's fastest human. How awesome would it be to be able to say that there was no one earth faster than you? At least I think that's pretty awesome. In my teenage years, I was thrilled to watch Usain Bolt break the world record time in Beijing in 2008, running 100 meters in an unbelievable 9.69 seconds. I'm curious to see when his current record of 9.58s will be broken (I'm expecting that it will be eventually), though he was an amazing combination of height and length that made him like any other sprinter to ever come before him. Bolt aside, the 100 meter dash event is pretty phenomenal.