3. Synchronized diving
Apparently, 2000 was the year the Olympics jumped the shark, as this inane concept was added to the lineup then, too. It’s just like diving, except with a teammate who performs the same dive you do, at the same time. We don’t blame the competitors—they’re often just individual divers taking another shot at a medal. But we can’t help wondering how doing the exact same thing as someone else is considered a sport. Can you imagine, say, tennis players being rewarded for backhanding together? Outside of the equally pointless synchronized swimming, this logic doesn’t apply to any other athletic pursuit. Because it’s stupid. And last time we checked, the Olympic motto wasn’t “Faster, Stronger, Higher… More Simultaneous.”
You may think this activity is limited to Richard Simmons and his acolytes, but no, people actually compete in it. Since 1990, spandex-clad enthusiasts have been holding the International Aerobic Championship, in which individuals, mixed pairs, and trios perform routines showcasing their fitness to a panel of judges. They do this not with demonstrations of strength and speed, but with leaps, spins, leg kicks, jumping jacks and splits. It’s called “sport aerobics,” and in addition to making male cheerleaders look like Chuck Norris, it’s the most idiotic thing ever set to music. Don’t believe us? Check out this video of “Jouni Viitanen,” the 2007 sport aerobics world champ. We think it speaks for itself.
1. Race walking
Born around 1600, when English aristocrats began betting on the speed of their footmen, race walking’s been boring the hell out of Olympic spectators since 1908. The rules—at least one foot on the ground at all times, legs always straight—are as silly as someone inventing a sport that’s exactly like basketball, except no jumping. Worse, they cause competitors to sacrifice all dignity, shimmying their hips and swiveling their pelvises as if, frankly, they have sticks up their asses. And to make boasts like this gem from 2008 Olympic trials winner Kevin Eastler: “I have a need for speed. But only as much speed as you can get without bending your knee.” Is it any wonder that those trials were held not at Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, where the real races went down, but next to a parking lot across from it? People, take a hint.