Most excruciatingly boring Olympic event?

With the games about to kick off in Athens, I thought a thread on this great dope-fest was appropriate.

Which sport - okay, you wouldn’t even want to dignify it by calling it a sport - out of the hundreds that will be indulged in over the next few weeks do you think Lynndie England or Michael Moore (insert your favourite crook here - no offence meant, just the first two names that came to mind) should be forced to watch ever single minute of?

In time honoured fashion, I’ll run the first leg of the relay and nominate (out of many honorable contenders) fencing.

Classical event - yep. Aeons old - yep. But just sooo boring. They wear so much equipment you can’t tell who the hell’s fighting, and there’s not even the bonus of a bit of blood. Those white suits sum it up - the most anaemic prancing about you’ve ever seen. What’s more the one who you think has won always loses and you can’t work the heck out why.

And in case you think the short bouts are an advantage, they’re not. That just means you get more of these mind-numbing elasticated assaults squeezed into each hour. Sort of like watching Greg Rudeski play…well…Greg Rudeski every day, without the obscenities.

OK, over to you guys.

Eh…I can actually watch fencing. The most idiotic and boring sport is synchronised swimming, of course! :smiley:

For just plain boring…small-bore target-shooting. Unbelievably hard event, but just not up there when it comes to viewer excitement.

I actually find nearly all the ‘track and field’ events boring. My favourite part of the lympics is the Gymnastics. I am genuinely in awe of the gymnasts.


Most of them. Because they’re all at such n absurdly elite level that there won’t be any discernible difference between each contestant.

Can you tell the difference between a dive that earns 9.91 and one that earns 9.92? Does it matter if a swimmer ‘smashed’ their personal record by .00001 of a second? Can you even tell what the point of the rings event in male gymnastics is meant to prove? And why is Soccer an olympic sport when it’s just a fairly meaningless round robin?

The gymnasts deserve awe not only for the years of training they’ve put in, but for having been stunted since they were eight years old - at least in China.

Kudos to shooting for being honest enough to include ‘bore’ in the name of their event.

Does anyone else feel that, whereas diving can be compulsive viewing, synchronised diving’s about as interesting as watching paint dry? Or do others find it twice as exciting?

Lobsang, can we have your most boring track and field event?

I am quite sure I wouldn’t want to watch shooting or archery. I am a fan of both running and cycling, so I’ll watch the marathon as well as the road race. But, those would probably be boring to a non-fan. If Dressage is still part of Equestrian, that is not a real show-stopper either. I don’t think I’d want to watch yachting. Badminton is probably a bore to watch as well.

I also don’t care for synchronized swimming or rhythmic gymnastics. I probably won’t be staying up late to watch trampoline, judo, or taekwondo either.

Nothing against the people who compete in these events. Just not what I’ll watch. However, I’ll watch a lot of this Olympics. I feel I was cheated in 2000 with the tape delay and time difference.

It’s difficult to pick one. I find them all equally boring with the exception of the ones involving throwing things.

If I have to pick one I’ll pick one of the long distance running ones, longer than 100m (I don’t know what the actual distances are)

Qualifiers - I like rhythmic gymnastics. (I refuse to watch real gymnastics until that sport gets a major overhaul) I like the weird ski jumping things in the winter olympics where they’re judged on style. I like synchronized swimming (I’m even kind of-ok with “solo synchronized swimming” which is an event that has flaws apparent right in the title.). I could watch ice dancing for decades and I miss the days when they were allowed to “die” on the ice. I cannot wait for ballroom dancing this year (though not even I can stretch the definition of sport that far.)

But synchronized diving has to be the dumbest event ever.
And it’s dull.
((I also have issues with most track and field, but I think that’s a result of being dragged to track meets against my will as a child - but at least I can understand that as an event and why some might want to watch it.))

How about events that are no longer in the Olympics, but used to be?

They’ve had…

•Croquet. (1900) (Boy, I wouldn’t feel like showing that gold medal to the grandkids)
•Roque (1904)—A slightly different kind of Croquet.
•Rope climing (1896-1932)
•Limbo (1951)(Hermes Conrad thou shouldst’ve been alive at that hour)
•Stone throwing (1906)(Throwing a 14-lb rock. Really. That was it.)
•Twelve-Hour bicycle race. (1896)(The winner made 183.5 miles.)
•Golf (1900-1904)

And…I haven’t been able to confirm this, but I heard a report that checkers was an event at one of the early games. Like I said, I’m trying to get confirmation.
(Though I have to admit, Dueling Pistols (1906) would have been interesting to watch.)

I love to get drunker than a skunk and watch curling, but not a lot of people agree with me.

As for the discontinued sports…I’ve seen newsreels (silents) of the standing pole vault - Now that was bizarre.


I think that the marathons are extremely boring except for the first mile or so and the last mile or so. They should show the beginning and the end and skip to gymnastics or swimming or even boxing during the middle. Same goes for triathalons. (Are they in the Olympics yet?) Show the start, the transitions and the end. NBC’s Ironman coverage has set the bar. It’s fascinating and has a lot of stuff to cut away from just endless footage of dudes in speedos on bikes. (Which has to hurt. Ick.)

I’m not up on my equestrian nomenclature, the competitions with the various hedges, gates and water obstacles that have to be jumped and manuevered around are okay, anything else is appalling to watch on television.

But the worst, IMO, is any sport in which professionals are somehow now permitted to be Olympians. Basketball, tennis, hockey in the winter, they’re all ruined, IMO. If I want to watch millionaires with three mansions playing sports, I wouldn’t be watching the Olympics.

(And dammit, if Jaromir Jagr, Shaquille O’Neal and Venus Williams are Olympians now, reinstate Jim Thorpe’s medals!)

all the gun shooting events.

I watched the 1988 Soeul Olympics in Taiwan and they had some pretty unusual coverage. Remember watching Veladrome time trials. I like biking but this stuff was pretty dang boring. and the commentary for about 3 hours straight was “they are riding fast” “really going fast” “serious speed” repeated ad nauseum.

You have to listen to Roy Slaven and HG Nelson commentate these less than exciting events. These two make even sychronised swimming exciting.

I can wait. Bring on Athens.

can’t … grumble …grumble …

psst! TeaElle? Jim Thorpe’s medals were reinstated. Years after his death, unfortunately, but he’s back in the record books and his family were given “replica” medals.

Rhythmic gymnastics. All that ribbon on a string shit. ICK. It’s much like synchronised swimming…just daft!

Swimming. It’s boring to me because it generally comes down to which aussie or yank will win. (sour grapes…maybe, it’s still boring).

Weightlifting. I’m impressed by the results but the competition bores me rigid.

Could I nominate the opening ceremonies? I never make it more then a dozen minutes.

Equestrian really bores me. Really almost all of the events should only be read about in the morning newspaper. A good writer can make them exciting by providing some tension. There are a few sports go great with radio, baseball for example. Very few sports are good for watching on TV. Wrestling’s actually lots of fun to watch.

There are different ways of thinking about it. Boring/no-boring can come down to whether you understand much about the sport, and can appreciate the difference between the poor, the good and the great. I can see GuanoLad’s point that it’s hard to appreciate gymnastics and diving etc., where only expert aficionados can tell any difference between perfection and near-perfection.

Then there’s the related point of whether a sport makes for good TV, whether you can see much happening. Gymnastics can be very watchable, and so can diving, because at least you can people doing these near-impossible manoevres. But this is where things like small bore rifle shooting fall down, because there is nothing to see. There’s a guy crouching down aiming a gun, then the sound of his gun firing (they need Bruckheimer to re-dub the soundtrack) and that’s it. There’s nothing to actually SEE.

So I think the really boring events are those that fail on both counts: only experts can tell good from bad, and nothing much to see. I’d vote for the sailing events. They always make for fairly cacky television, you can’t really tell what’s going on (let alone who is doing well or why) and it may be fast and frantic action for the actual participants but on TV it all looks pretty slow and tedious.

Slight hijack… personally, I’ve always felt that there shouldn’t be anything in the Olympics that requires a ‘judge’ to tell who has won. I’m fine with anything where you can measure fastest, highest, furthest or most points, but if it comes down to a bunch of people all ‘judging’, it’s fairly arbitrary. Olympic boxing is notoriously ruined by ‘political’ judging, and even boxing fans are sick of how fixed it all is. A legendary BBC boxing commentator, Harry Carpenter, even referred to this during his live commentary, and how sickened he felt by all the obviously biased decisions. It must be really bad for a BBC guy to openly mention during a broadcast.

Curling. Seriously, what were they on when they made this stupid game.