The Olympics wrapped up last weekend. The United States finished with nine gold medals. Since peaking with 10 wins in 2002, America has been stuck at nine in each of the last four Winter Games.
Most cold weather sports are a little foreign to most Americans, especially here in the South. We don’t get a lot of while powdery stuff around here. If the forecast calls for an inch of snow, grocery stores run out of bread and milk.
But every four years we do get enamored with curling. Be honest, how many times have you told yourself you could do that? One of the curlers summed it up pretty well when he said anyone can curl just like any one can golf, but very few can do it well.
The International Olympic Committee routinely adds new events to the Games. They have been adding more extreme sports to the Winter contest. Halfpipe, slopestyle, freestyle and big air are all newer terms we have learned over the past few Olympics.
Some critics say these newer sports are too gimmicky or non-traditional. But are they really any odder than riding down a frozen waterslide feet first (luge) or headfirst (skeleton)?
One thing the IOC has been doing is adding team versions of solo sports. They hav e added team competitions in things such as skiing and figure skating.
I say look at golf. There actually is a little history to Olympic team golf.
In the second Olympiad in 1900, golf was included for the first time. Ten women and a dozen men competed.
Four years later, at the St. Louis Olympics, they added a men’s team event. There were only three teams, all from the U.S., and they consisted of 10 men each. They simply added up the individual scores of all 10 players.
After that, golf was dropped from the Olympics for over a century, not returning until 2016 in Rio.
I previously wrote about how they should add a four-man scramble. Let the golfers play a regular four rounds of stroke play to determine an individual champion, like they do in almost every PGA tournament.
But, then let them do something PGA golfers never do — group in foursomes and have a little fun, seeing how low four pros could shoot together. One day, one round, winner take all. I think it would make TV ratings gold.
Another event that would be great for TV would be 3-on-3 basketball.
Olympic hoops has again lost its pizzazz, partly because there are now so many international players in the NBA. Plus, you already know Team USA is going to win.
Players from each country could form their own squads. Who would not love to see a gold medal game between a pair of threesomes of say LeBron James, James Hardin and Russell Westbrook vs. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry?