Who Is the Biggest Jerk at the Olympics? And Four More Burning Questions for the London Games.

A Blog About the Olympic Games
July 23 2012 3:02 PM

Who Is the Biggest Jerk at the Olympics? And Four More Burning Questions for the London Games.

Olympic flag
A flag bearing the Olympic Rings flies in front of Big Ben.

Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages

Hi, I'm Justin Peters, occasional Slate contributor. You might know me for my irrationally fierce dislike of Sbarro, or my premature familiarity with various brands of adult diapers. For the next few weeks, I'll be combining my interests in disdain and excretion to blog about the greatest shit-show on earth: the Olympic Games. 

Like most patriotic, clean-living humans, I love the Olympics—albeit against my better judgment. I'm well aware that the principles of amateurism on which the Games were founded are a fraud, that the IOC is corrupt beyond belief, and that Pocket Hercules cannot actually fit in your pocket. But as soon as the opening ceremony begins, I put that all aside, because the Olympics are random and wonderful, inspiring and weird. The Olympic Games feature nine days' worth of televised fencing. What more needs to be said?

Advertisement

From the opening ceremony until August 12, I'll be hanging out here with a bunch more Slate writers. We’ll be watching and blogging about as many events as we can: the winners, the losers, the announcers, the stern Slavic gymnastics coaches. As an old shot put man myself (fourth place, North Suburban Conference Track and Field Championships, 1999—take that, Andrei Mikhnevich!), I'm particularly interested in the field events. As a pop-punk devotee with bleached blond hair and an authority problem, I'm into BMX biking. As someone who once traumatically ripped his pants on a backyard trampoline, I'm interested in the trampoline event, and the pants-ripping potential of same.

In addition to my ongoing event coverage, I plan to step back and take a dispassionate look at some of the broader issues raised by the London Games. Here are five questions that I hope to answer over the next few weeks:

1) Who is the biggest jerk at the Olympics? 

2) How much sex is being had at the Olympic Village, and which country's athletes are most eager to have it? ("Lots" and "Italy" are my preliminary answers, but I hope to do much more research on this critical question.)

3) How well do Olympic skills translate to real life? Would archers be good at bow hunting? Should a synchronized swimmer be hired as a lifeguard? Could the modern pentathletes succeed at the pre-modern pentathlon?

4) What's the easiest Olympic event to fix? If I were an unscrupulous gambler—or the unscrupulous leader of a disreputable country—how would I go about fixing the discus? How much would it cost?

5) Will anyone rip their pants during the trampoline events? And, if so, will the victim grow red-faced and teary-eyed as his so-called friends all point and laugh, and then run home and lock himself in his room, promising never to emerge until roller skating joins the Olympic programme?

Now, let the pre-games begin! Send an email to justintrevett@fastmail.fm or let me know in the comments if you've got any questions you'd like to have answered, or if there's any particular event you'd like me to cover.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

Why Men Can Never Remember Anything

The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Can Never Remember Anything
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 19 2014 1:56 PM Scotland’s Attack on the Status Quo Expect more political earthquakes across Europe.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 3:24 PM Why Innovators Hate MBAs
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 3:07 PM Everything Is a "Women's Issue"
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 3:33 PM Drinking Fancy Cocktails at Denny’s
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.