Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Are You Listening, Rio 2016? Team GB Is Already in Training for the 1500m Hop and Scissor-Paper-Stone

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Are You Listening, Rio 2016? Team GB Is Already in Training for the 1500m Hop and Scissor-Paper-Stone

Article excerpt

Byline: says Richard Godwin

ONE of the pleasures of the Olympics lies in watching sports you once tried your hand at in an idle moment taken to the most elite level. However, at times the choice of sports can seem strange. Why is badminton but not squash an Olympic sport? Why Greco-Roman wrestling but not Streetfighter II? Here are some sports that we would like to see introduced for Rio 2016.

LAND DIVING An "extreme" variant on the pool diving events, only here the competitors dive onto dry land. The height of the board increases each round, with the last athlete standing declared the winner. (The sport is thought to have evolved from the childhood game where you see how many stairs you dare jump down.) It was revolutionised by the development of the "floppy jump": competitors learn complex disassociation techniques so their body is relaxed and their joints are malleable on impact. The best actually fall asleep on the journey down. Doping is, admittedly, a problem.

SCISSORS-PAPER-STONE You think this game is childish and random? Try playing it with 160,000 eyes on you, plus a TV audience of billions.

Talk about pressure! The psychological and tactical subtleties of pre-empting an opponent's play are labyrinthine. Elite players will find themselves defending stone for long periods, both attempting their scissor-switches and double-bluff stone-holds simultaneously, before one of them misreads a stoneparry and wins on paper.

THE LOW JUMP The opposite of the high jump. The competitors launch themselves cleanly off the ground, remaining in the air for a minimum of half a second while attaining the minimum possible distance from the ground. With training, it is possible to reduce "lift" to minuscule heights, measured in tenths of millimetres. The 20mm low jump remains the "four-minute mile" mark.

THE 1500-METRE HOP A mainstay of the school sports day but only in the "sprint" discipline, hopping becomes far more interesting in the middle-distance events. The strength, balance and stamina required to maintain a steady pace on one leg make it a brutal test of endurance (veterans often complain of horrific stress injuries, not to mention the dreaded "trailing leg syndrome"). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.