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August 9th, 2012
08:23 PM ET

Letters to the President #1298: 'Olympic oddities'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama with alarming frequency.

Dear Mr. President,

As the Olympics burn toward their final weekend, I am struck by the notion that the officials there are just making things up now. All of a sudden I’m seeing all sorts of “sports” that I have never seen before, and I can’t help but wonder if the organizers had some sort of emergency meeting.

“Ok, gang, we’ve got a half week left and we’re running out of games. Chuck! Ideas?

“Well, Sven, swimming and gymnastics have been very popular. Could we do something more than those?”

“Good thinking! What if we had the top swimmers try to swim the kayaking course with gymnasts on their backs? Or better yet: Let’s combine it with diving and have them vault into the water!”

I’m sure I must be wrong, but I saw something earlier today that involved a bunch a wildly intense looking Russians parading around in zany costumes, and as best I could make out they were pantomiming what would happen if a trainload of goats derailed. Or something like that. I have no idea what it was or how it was judged, and I’m hard pressed to call it a sport.

A friend of mine once said, any endeavor in which your costume is part of the scoring is not a sport. Can you imagine hearing an NFL announcer say, “That was an excellent pass by Drew Brees, but the referees are going to call it back. One of his sleeves was pulled up a little higher than the other. Tough break.”

Oh well. Who knows what’s going on behind closed doors? We’ll just have to wait for Hope Solo to tell us. Ha! Speaking of Olympic accomplishments, I’ve noticed that you’ve done a pretty good job linking yourself to the games whenever possible; all those congratulatory calls and the like. One of the advantages of incumbency, to be sure.

Anyway, just a few thoughts on a slow Thursday. Give me a call later if you have a moment. I’m back in town.

Regards,
Tom

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