The best American Olympic team ever?
The best American Olympic team ever?
Scenes from the Olympics.
Feb. 10 2006 11:42 AM

The Best American Olympic Team Ever?

Yeah, right.

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Invent sports that no one else cares about.
America's historic medal haul in 2002 was, in large part, the payoff for the prolonged diluting of the traditional European sports. Of the United States' 34 medals in Salt Lake City, 16 came in events that didn't exist at the 1988 Olympics. Women's hockey, freestyle skiing, men's halfpipe—our best sports are all recent additions.

This year, in Turin, only one sport, something called "snowboard cross," will make its debut. Pathetic. Newfangled pseudo-sports are our lifeblood. What's the best way to counterbalance the European's stranglehold on the Nordic combined? Create an Americanized biathlon that combines saucer-sledding and backyard wrestling. Other possibilities: cross-country snowmobile, the downhill mattress, and short-track Zamboni.

Felix Gillette is a reporter for the Columbia Journalism Review's CJR Daily.