3 min

Queering the Olympics

We can improve wrestling, track and softball

Credit: Xtra West files

It happens every four years: athletes from around the world gather to push, shove, balance, flip, drip and generally try to beat the pants off one another while we mere mortals squander away 17 summer days hunched in front of the television. We tried to make use of the time we spent perfecting our status as couch potato Olympians speculating about ways to queer it up.

Of course, the Olympics were originally queer. As we’ve all been reminded by the CBC special, the original Olympics consisted of completely naked male athletes slathered in olive oil observed by a men-only crowd of approximately 40,000. Hmmm, sounds like the first circuit party crossed with a night at the baths!

It is this fact of origin that rankled so hard when the “real” Olympics forced the Gay Olympics to change its name to the “Gay Games”-a lawsuit over name infringement succeeded! We should have sued them for straightening out what was in the first instance a gay event. But we are not bitter. Instead, we have turned our “queer eye” on the supposedly “Straight Games” to dream of an Olympics that is truer to its origins (without the sexist exclusion of women-identified persons, of course).

We begin with a queer reading of a few of the original events: beginning with shotput and discus. Many of the brave men and women who went down to the dusty bowl in Athens are, well, let’s just say, more amply endowed than their predecessors (and not just due to widespread use of steroids and human growth hormone). The original event was aimed at men who loved lithe, hairless bodies. Today, after fat liberation and bear supremacy, the field events are now a wet dream for a very different crowd.

And then there are all the new events that take place in the water. From what we gather from the historical record, it did not occur to the Greeks that near-naked wet guys might also be very, very hot. Now that women are also competing, the straight pretense of the Olympics is sustained by events like synchro swimming. Word up: a lot of those girls play waterpolo on the side, at least a certain subset of them do.

Now to the changes we propose, We begin by suggesting modifications to existing events. Track is, in our view, considerably damaged by the invention of the jockstrap. We are sure there are those among you who would be happier seeing those hunky guys unfurled, but conservative naysayers point out the obvious: without the invention of those funny strips of elastic and cotton, we’d need fluffers to make sure that the hurdlers were, ahem, up for their event. Now that sounds like a queer Olympics to us!

Synchronized diving seems like the silliest event ever, until you think about what it would be like if the male competitors wore make-up and cock rings. The women’s event would simply be re-named “synchronized muff diving” and 69 on the way down awarded the highest degree of difficulty. And who cares what kind of a splash they make!

Women’s softball would stay exactly the same but it would be given the best schedule and receive the most coverage of any event, period. Like, what’s there to talk about except how sexy those sisters are!

Gymnastics: What more do we need to say beyond emphasizing acrobatic ability combined with nudity and oil?

Wrestling would not be sex-segregated. Instead, tops and bottoms would compete for power. We all know that the “bottoms have all the power” but the tops would strive valiantly, but alas in vain, to take control. What can we say? We like to watch.

Beach volleyball: The women could wear whatever they want but male beach volleyball players would compete in jockstraps only.

Weightlifting: Instead of barbells, competitors would be required to lift drag queens. “And the winner, with a total of 19 drag queens at once, is ….” Reporters would comment that “so and so from upper Quadra Island is desperately hoping to draw some of the smaller queens for his lift…”

And finally, we propose a new event: walking the dog. Competitors circle around a park-like enclosure with their canine companions. Points are given for sexual encounters (obviously), but also “peer counselling,” exchange of crucial information (gossip) and grooming tips. In keeping with the spirit of the queer Olympics, however, competitors will be too focussed on the process of walking their dogs to be concerned with win/loss outcomes. Isn’t that inspiring?

In the meantime we’ll have to make do with our own international gay sporting events, given that these changes will take some time to implement. In 2006, Rendezvous Montreal and Gay Games Chicago beckon the queer athlete and sports fan. Not too shabby a consolation prize. But we do hope that numerous gay ski weeks at Whistler will create a groundswell of support for nude ski jumping in 2010.

What the fuck!