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At The Olympics, ‘Anything That’s Judged Is A Hobby,’ Not A Sport

Here’s another excellent take on the Olympics — a standard you can use to figure out which "Games" are just games, and which games are sports.

"Anything that’s judged is a hobby," not a sport, writes sports guy Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune on his blog:

"Gymnastics is not a sport because it’s judged. Anything that’s judged is a hobby. It might be physically demanding, but it’s still a hobby. Swimming, however, is a sport because the participants determine the outcome. Boxing is a hobby because it’s judged, but it could easily be a sport if they’d demand that competitors fight to a knockout. So, that’s my Olympic rule: If it’s judged, it’s not a sport. But Doug Elfman in Vegas has another way of settling the sport/not-a-sport debate: If you can smoke while doing it — not a sport."

That’s right, if you missed my post last week, I said if you can smoke while playing beach volleyball (borrrring) or shooting a gun, it’s a game, not a sport. I do not stand corrected. In fact, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch cited my awesome theory while calling me one of "America’s leading sports pundits." So there.

And I think Steve is onto something. Although, I submit that we should combine our theories so that you don’t consider something a sport if both A) you can smoke during it, and B) you get judged.

I’m not sure how many sports that leaves at the Olympics. But we may still need a standard to rule out, say, weightlifting, which I respect as a discipline, but not as a sport. Like I said before, lifting weights is what you do to prepare for a sport. What will the Olympics add next? Stretching?

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