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SA deserves medal for ‘darkness-defying’ humour

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It’s hard to imagine a more colonialist endeavour than the Olympic Games. It was, after all, the invention of Greece, one of the greatest land-capturing nations in history, that gifted the competition to the world. I’m told that back then, naked men competed against each other for the win. Which is probably one of the primary reasons that curling was introduced officially only in 2006. That and the fact that frozen lakes weren’t that commonly found in the hills of Athens.

If the Canadians were able to decolonise the Olympics successfully with curling, essentially a housekeeping game that requires little more than a few stubborn stones and a very determined broom, there’s little reason that South Africa shouldn’t introduce a few options as well.

The 2024 Paris Olympics will kick off later this month. In its need to remain relevant, new sports are constantly evaluated and admitted. Tokyo 2020’s 339 events in 33 sports, the most in Olympic history, included the Olympic debut of sports such as skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing, and karate, as well as events such as BMX freestyle and 3×3 basketball.

Paris will introduce Breaking, more commonly known as breakdancing, which is a style of dance that originated in the Bronx in the 1970s. Over the decades, it has evolved into a competitive sport, complete with international events, a judging system, and world championships.

All this is precedent enough to allow South Africans to propose a sport that they excel at, in order to achieve an easy gold. A sport that comes naturally, where we have had practice and are able to show how it’s done.

And no. Corruption isn’t a good option. Because as talented as we might be, it’s unlikely that those who are most practiced will be willing to take a hiatus from running the country in order to compete. More so because they will be reluctant to share their talents with the world. And because time, for them, is literally money.

Competitive Time Keeping, too, isn’t a good option. Because we’re terrible at it. And have become accustomed to waiting and waiting for the president.

Creative Electricity is worth considering. This could allow for categories like Illegal Connections; 100m Copper Carrying Dash; and Pre-paid Code Corruption. Other sports worth considering would be “Pothole Dodging” with the finals taking place in the evening during a bout of loadshedding. Tyres and rims to be supplied by the Olympic committee.

Braaiing, as a men only, non-gender-neutral event would be a natural contender. This might be divided into Fire Construction, Marinades, and Mansplaining. The salad event would be dropped due to lack of interest.

The above aside, if South Africans were to win a competition, it would be in humour and optimism. Spend a little time on X following any event, and the true nature of this funny, kind people is evident. South Africans have the gift of laughing in adversity, and in allowing second chances. They find the lighter side of the dark, and time and time again, shake off the dust and move forward in hope.

South Africans might not bring home all the medals. Which hardly matters. Because they are already gold.

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