This week thousands of international athletes will descend upon London to compete in 2012 Summer Olympic games. Some of the dozens of contests that make up the games are as old as ancient Greece; others are relative newcomers; and others are so incredibly inane that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should consider scratching them from the games all together.
Here then -- in order from bad to worse -- is the definitive list of the 10 Dumbest Sports of the Summer Olympics.
10. Men's Basketball Who can forget the 1992 Olympics -- the year the U.S. compiled the "Dream Team" to prove to the world that U.S. basketball is superior to all other nations? It was a dazzling performance, as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Co. toyed with the competition like the Harlem Globetrotters batting around the Washington Generals. With the exception of 2004's underperforming U.S. squad, three of the four following Dream Teams have won gold, with the 2008 collection of NBA stars winning its games by an average of 27.9 points. This year's U.S. team, led by LeBron James and Kevin Durant, will be equally dominating -- and unsporting. All of which is to say, until the U.S. goes back to fielding a team of college athletes, this sport will continue to be one of the biggest bores of the summer games.
9. Synchronized Swimming We admit it. This sport is almost too easy to make fun of. But we're not here to dismiss the event entirely. The team competition, in which a group of women collectively turn themselves into aquatic kaleidoscopes, is actually kind of cool. (Kind of.) No, what we find completely inane is the smaller (and less dazzling) duet competition. Sorry, ladies, but flopping around in a pool with your girlfriend is NOT a sport. And, by the way, why is it that synchronized swimming remains a female-only event when traditionally male sports such as boxing and wrestling have all added women in recent years? The Thompson Twins (from one of the best SNL skits ever) would not approve.
Sure, trampolines are lots of fun. And as the character Todd Flanders once noted on The Simpsons, each leap on the spring-loaded canvas "brings us closer to God." But an Olympic sport? In 2000 the IOC agreed with young Flanders when -- to the dismay of the pogo-stick and hulu-hoop lobbies -- it vaulted trampoline jumping from backyard activity to the pantheon of the Olympic games.
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