Drop it: Rhythmic Gymnastics and Trampoline
Before the women’s gymnastics all-around event, I was surprised to look up and see swans. Not real ones, but the ballet kind, from the English National Ballet. Which got me to thinking. Instead of ballet, why not something more relevant? Like rhythmic gymnastics? And trampoline? Rather than making them contested sports, I’m convinced they would make a better warm-up act for artistic gymnastics. Yes, I know that rhythmic gymnasts and trampoline athletes work hard and long to perfect their skills, but so do plate spinners and jugglers. All those ribbons and hoops and balls, and the beautiful (and sometimes painful-looking) ways the gymnasts contort themselves around these things would make a fabulous opening act. And can you imagine the trampoline, with cheers of “Higher, higher, higher!” to get the crowd going?
Add it: Baseball
If basketball is an Olympic sport, then why not baseball? I’d like to see men’s baseball and women’s softball back in the mix; they have global appeal and kids everywhere who have picked up a bat and swung at a ball can relate to them. But I’d shut out the pros. Let’s go back to the original intent of the Games and limit them to amateur athletes only; once sports becomes a paying job, they somehow lose their luster of being the ultimate contest of the fastest, highest and strongest in the world. (And yes, I’d apply this rule to not just baseball and softball but basketball, swimming and gymnastics as well).