Everything You Need To Know About Olympic Cannon Shooting, and Seven More Stories I Didn't Get Around To Writing

A Blog About the Olympic Games
Aug. 12 2012 7:49 PM

Everything You Need To Know About Olympic Cannon Shooting, and Seven More Stories I Didn't Get Around To Writing

cannon
A human cannonball at the closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Over the last two weeks, I’ve written 41 different items about the Olympics. (Don’t worry, I don’t remember any of them either.) But for all the jerks I assailed and the drunken long jumpers I praised, there are dozens more stories I didn’t get around to writing. Below, I’ve listed eight ideas that never came to fruition. Let me know in the comments which idea you like best, and I’ll write up the one that gets the most acclaim. Consider it a goodbye present.

Where do Olympics medalists get the flags they wrap around themselves?: Do they bring them from home, just in case they win? Do they belong to a friend, or coach, or family member? Are they just grabbing them at random from some dude in the crowd who’ll never see his flag again?

Advertisement

In praise of the archery announcer, the unsung hero of the London Games: The stadium announcer for the archery competition was an extremely energetic American named George Tekmitchov. This fellow went above and beyond the call of stadium-announcing duty, doing shot-by-shot commentary from the booth, bantering with the crowd during breaks in the shooting, and getting really, really excited whenever somebody won a match. I wanted to write something about this overlooked Olympic star. But then archery ended, and I didn’t.

Left Behind: Olympics Edition: Whenever I called a sports federation’s office with a question, I’d inevitably get a gloomy, “Everyone’s in London. I’m the only person here.” So I wanted to call a lot of offices, shoot the shit with the people who got stuck there, and then write about what they’d been doing with themselves.

The weirdness of water polo goalies: Apparently, they’re known for being oddballs. Merrill Moses, the goalie for the U.S. men’s team, is known as “The Birdman” and does weird bird calls after blocking shots. Do the other Olympic water polo goalies make bird sounds, too? I’m guessing they probably do.

How many horses in the equestrian events come from the countries for which they’re competing?: This would take a lot of research and the resulting post would likely be very boring. But the question is kind of funny.

Which sport has the best celebrations? First, I thought it was fencing, because the athletes yelled and waved their weapons after winning a match. Then I thought it was track and field, because the athletes danced and preened after winning a race. Then I thought it was archery, because the archers were probably really excited on the inside.

Some Olympic events have cheerleaders. What’s the deal with that?: How long has “Olympic cheerleading” been a thing? How do the IOC and the various international federations decide that a given sport could really be improved by adding cheerleaders? How do you get to be an Olympic cheerleader?

Everything you need to know about Olympic cannon shooting: The closing ceremony of the London Games featured Eric Idle performing "Always Look on the Bright Side of the Life," a performance that was punctuated by a human cannonball. This was perhaps an homage to the 1900 Paris Games, where cannon shooting was a demonstration sport. Was it fun? Did anyone get hurt? Whose idea was it? Why didn’t cannon shooting make it to full-fledged sport status?

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 18 2014 6:00 AM All Shook Up My 11-year-old has been exploring herself with my “back massager.” Should I stop her?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?