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Michael Phelps Olympic superman

Michael Phelps Olympic superman

Up is good, more is better, we all know that, so why not have more Olympic Medals? There are many opportunities for creating more, so why is there the arbitrary limitation in swimming medals for example to 50 meters, 100, meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters? Why not insert 10 meters, 20 meters, 75 meters, 150 meters, 300 meters 400 meters, 500 meters 750 meters and one kilometer in every event? That way there would be lots more medals to be won! And what’s the logic in having only three metals—Gold, Silver and Bronze—when the periodic table has lots more as you can see below.

Perodic table showing metals

Periodic table showing potential Olympic medals in gray.

The sharp-eyed will notice that there isn’t a bronze metal so perhaps that should be changed to a more honest metal such as Copper (CU 29). There are about 75 metals on the chart, so why not use them all? How cool it would be to have a Krypton (Kr 36) medal in gymnastics, or diving, but of course that would be impossible because it’s not a metal. But, it is a Noble Gas, and that deserves some recognition. Some people might complain that the events are spaced too close together in the abilities being rated, and that a really good swimmer might win every event all the way from 10 meters to 1000 meters. It does seem that some swimmers (like Phelps) do carry a heavy load away from the recent Olympics, but the I’ve never heard of a Volleyball competitor getting, any other medal, ever; and those guys and gals are spectacular all round athletes. Perhaps the shooting medals should be given for all of the additional distances listed above because surely there is a vast difference between shooting a target at 50 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters etc., and there needs to be several divisions between 100 and 200 meters because the bullet is dropping at an ever steeper angle.

What’s going on with the gymnastics smashing all sorts of separate abilities into a single medal at the end? That sport with a single name is vastly more varied than swimming. At least in the ten sport Decathlon they admit up front that it is a combination sport, and call it that right up front in the name—deca….

Another thing is becoming clear, and that is that there is a tremendous size preference in most sports. In boxing this is admitted, and there are various categories based on weight although arm reach might be factored in somehow. At least they make an effort. But, in most sports there is only a differentiation based on sex, but not height, weight, or some other physical quality or disability as in the Special Olympics. But, height is critical in basketball, volleyball, and apparently in swimming too, because all of the top swimmers were quite tall, and none of them were short. On the other end there were the female gymnasts where most of the top contenders were among the smallest people I’ve ever seen, although the Gold went to a more normal sized woman. But that’s because she was just perfect in what she did, and not on how rapidly she did it.

Congratulations to all of the contenders! I wish I could have been a contender but I have one of the worst disabilities of all—I am old.

[Update: My excuse of being old just failed me. My spouses father Warren Foster is 86 and he just won 1st Place – US Masters Swimming – Freestyle 200 meters at 3:56:30.]