With the 31st Summer Olympiad set to begin in Rio tomorrow, Red will keep you updated on some of the more obscure sports and aspects of the games. While awaiting the opening ceremony, Red looks back longingly at some Olympic events that have faded from the scene and that he wishes might be brought back to life.
The ancient Greek Olympics featured a competition called pankration which combined boxing, wrestling and brutality – sort of like modern day MMA. The sport was played on open ground making it impossible to corner an opponent and extended the length of fights. Biting and gouging were the only prohibited actions. Legend has it that one such match – a fight between Damoxenos and Kreugas – ended when the Damoxenos struck his opponent with outstretched fingers, pierced his abdomen and grabbed his entrails – giving new meaning to “rip your guts out.” Red thinks that Trump voters would be particularly fond of such a sport.
On the more modern front, Red laments the loss of tug-of-war from the games. The event had a five Olympics run before being eliminated after the 1920 games. Red always personally hated participating in tug-of-war, most likely because he never remembers being on a winning side and has a particular distaste for rope burns. But he does enjoy watching a good old-fashioned tug.