US Olympic Trials 2012: Why Racewalking Shouldn't Be an Olympic Sport

Marc Weinreich@QuestionMarcsCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2012

Olympic athlete or man in desperate need of a bathroom?
Olympic athlete or man in desperate need of a bathroom?Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

I've never been fortunate enough to watch the Olympic sport of Racewalking live in-person, but I know how I look when I'm rushing to the bathroom after eating a burrito.

I thought eating cheap Mexican food was indulging in a guilty pleasure, but I guess you could argue that I was just training to become an Olympic gold medalist.

If you haven't seen, check it out—racewalking, that is, not me eating a burrito. Is that not the way you walk when you desperately need a bathroom?

It needs to be gone from the Olympics. A gold medalist in racewalking can't be put in the same sentence as medalist in any other sport.

We have various running events in the Olympics to crown the fastest man and woman. Why do we need to also award a medal to the slowest runner?

I'd rather watch Usain Bolt in slow motion than watch Ecuador's Jefferson Perez, the Michael Jordan of this sport, walk swiftly for 12 miles.

Are these people really athletes?

I hate to single out racewalking. I know there's a number of other Olympic sports that you could put into question.

What's so athletic about the luge?

It's impressive how carefree these guys seem to be about zipping down a winding pipe at almost 100 miles per hour, but isn't that more a testament to their bravery than any real indication of skill?

Ditto for the Bobsled event.

With these kinds of sports where you simply lie down and hope for the best, you have to think that Johnny Knoxville and his crew of misfits are athletes, too.

Their show, Jackass, is a breeding ground for Olympians. Between all of the crazy things they do, there has to be the possibility for an Olympic sport, no?

And what about curling? The Olympic sport of curling just reminds me of shuffleboard on ice. If old people retired to Canada instead of Florida, we'd be seeing a ton of senior citizens in the Olympics.

Synchronized swimming is probably the most impressive of the aforementioned Olympic sports.

But every time I watch it, I wonder whether it's better suited for some sort of aquatic version of Cirque du Soleil.

Think of the marketing opportunities with bringing scantly clad women to the pools at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. TV ratings would be a lot better. Isn't that all anyone cares about now? 

For all of the trash that I've talked about racewalking, I'm sure there's no way it's in jeopardy of being removed from the Olympics. People enjoy these niche sports, the kind that take us beyond the familiarity of basketball, hockey, weightlifting and even table tennis and badminton.

But if I can, I'd like to make one suggestion to the Olympic committee: make competitive eating an Olympic sport and pair it with racewalking as a biathalon event. Who wouldn't watch?