Thursday, February 18, 2010
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Edition
Time for more Fun Facts about these little-known Olympic Games!
Howdy, hockey fans! Last week we drank the Kool-Aid and proclaimed the Kari Lehtonen trade to be among the greatest trades in professional sports history; this week, I was planning on providing a glimpse of my memoirs as The Turco Whisperer (perhaps some of you Stars fans have noticed a slight change in Marty's goaltending focus? No need to thank me now --it's all in a day's work). But recent events in el mundo de hockey --actually, a complete dearth of events thanks to something called the Olympics? Seriously?-- have forced me to engage in the bane of sports journalistas everywhere: research.
**glances at wikipedia for two seconds**
...and we're back. As a sudden lifelong expert in everything Olympics, it's time to educate you, the unwashed Cupcheck reader, in the finer points of this majestic not-gay-at-all sporting endeavour. Here's a in-depth timeline of the most pivotal moments in Olympic, nay Human, history. By all means, use these facts in your next beer-fueled bar debate and remember: shouting makes them even truer.
Circa ~450 million B.C.: In a show of sporting supremacy, the Trilobite Gods hold the first-ever Olympics, honoring the greatest trilobites who ever lived. Events included the Swimming Fast, Eating a Lot and Most Useless Appendages competitions. Winners were granted an extra sensory organ.
Circa ~65 million B.C.: The fledgling Dinosaur Olympics come to a crashing halt when, before the official medal count could be tabulated, 90% of all life on earth is wiped out by a meteor. The Trilobite Gods reportedly shrug their articulated transverse segments, claiming innocence.
Circa ~200,000 B.C.: Oggruk, from the Hurkadurk tribe, displays his dominance over competing neanderthal tribes by jumping off a rocky cliff and rolling down the snow-covered slopes to his agonizingly painful death. Jealous rivals try to one-up Oggruk in other proto-events such as Sabre Tooth Tiger-Baiting and Wooly Mammoth Buggering, paving the uncontested rise to prominence for homo sapiens.
900 B.C.: Ancient Greeks, finding the fossilized remains of victorious trilobites, boast that they could do better than a bunch of invertebrates with little to no knowledge of philosophy and the sciences. The first-ever Olympics is held, infuriating the Trilobite Gods, who punish the ancient Greeks by introducing NAMBLA and nearly driving the Greeks to extinction.
776 B.C.: The first-ever Real Olympics are held on the majestic slopes of Mount Olympus, causing the first-ever Olympic Scandal when Zeus and Apollo are accused of offering illegal bribes to the IOC. The IOC makes matters worse by sweeping the scandal under the textiles --also, coincidentally, giving the ancient, textile-less Greeks yet another excuse to get naked.
774 B.C.: The first-ever Winter Olympics is held, leading to mass extinctions of nude athletes due to frostbite and overexposure. The early IOC tries to solve the issue by covering the few remaining athletes in massive amounts of olive oil, which gets mixed reviews.
390 A.D.: Oedipus Testakles defeats Uranus Polyfeces in the Pentupathon, setting the ancient Greek record for gold medals which would remain unbroken for thousands of years after the Roman Emperor Biggus Dickus outlaws the practice for being "too pagan". Critics of the Emperor point to ancient Rome's last-place finish in the medal count, blaming all-night orgies and the copious amounts of wine Roman athletes are forced to drink right before the events.
391 A.D.: Said critics of the Emperor are painted bright orange and left directly in the path of a marauding Visigoth army. Sports journalism is born.
394-1894 A.D.: The Dark Ages of Olympic history, when man knew not the simple joys of defeating fellow man in weirdly unsatisfying combat.
1896 A.D.: The first-ever Modern Olympic Games are held in Athens, marking the final shred of international relevance for the nation of Greece for the rest of eternity.
1908 A.D.: Barred from participating in the official Olympics, enraged women organize the first-ever Herlympics, held on the Greek island of Lesbos. Despite events such as Oil Wrestling, 100 Meter Disrobing and Competitive Spanking, the events are canceled due to a general disinterest among Greek males aged 18-72.
1912 A.D.: American Jim Thorpe dominates the Olympics, beginning a century-long fascination with the Games for Americans and providing momentary relevance to Thorpe's home state of Oklahoma. The Gods, noticing Oklahoma for the first time since the dawn of creation, quickly step in and strip Thorpe of his medals the following year.
1916 A.D.: All the nations of Europe, thoroughly embarrassed in the previous Olympics by the United States, begin a rival World Games involving exciting events such as the 200 Meter Trench Dash, Razor Wire Hurdling and Competitive Gassing. The Europeans' glory is short-lived, however, when two years later in 1918 the Americans send tens of thousands of their athletes into the World Games and quickly dominate these events as well.
1924 A.D.: Tarzan takes three golds and a bronze in the Paris Games, defeating France's own Aquaman. The proud people of France lobby the IOC to include Fish Telepathy and Getting Captured by Villains in the events, to no avail.
1936 A.D.: The Nazis are thoroughly embarrassed in the Nazi Olympics when Indiana Jones wins four gold medals, thereby indisputably proving Aryan inferiority. Hitler blames trilobite sabotage, publicly proclaims 1940 Nazi Olympics will be 'the best Olympics ever' and secures IOC backing to hold the next two Olympics in Stalingrad and the Sudentenland, respectively.
1939 A.D.: Noted stupid jerkface Adolf Hitler starts the Second World Games a year early, introducing some exciting new events not seen in the previous World Games such as 400 Meter Tank Treading, Maginot Hurdling and The Stuka. The French are overjoyed to finally sweep the Getting Captured by Villains events, and Hitler celebrates by holding the first-ever Air Olympics over beautiful downtown London. The Americans again ruin Europe's fun, however, when they again send a million or so of their own athletes into Europe to dominate the Second World Games.
1952 A.D.: The swarthy Eastern European nations, long considered "too Slavic" by the IOC, are finally allowed to participate in the Olympics. A 50-year period of suspicious Soviet dominance over the games begins, leading many American history books of the time to conclude that Communism is inherently superior to Capitalism, Apple Pie and Your Mom.
1956 A.D.: Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and The People's Republic of China boycott the Olympics due to various Cold War political machinations, allowing the U.S.S.R. and United States to win virtually every medal in the Games. Following the award ceremonies, both countries vow to pour lava on unsuspecting Third World babies in hopes of enticing the remaining countries to abandon the Olympics as well.
1964 A.D.: Luge is added for the first time, but a cloud hangs over it after a British luger dies in the course of a practice run a week before competition. The IOC promises such a tragedy will never again occur under their watch, blaming faulty trilobite track design.
1968 A.D.: On the winning podium after the 200-meter race, Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in a Black Power salute, marking the final time anything remotely awesome ever occurred during the Olympics.
1972 A.D.: In a Munich Games that the IOC swears was not just another Nazi Olympics, several Israeli athletes are killed by Moabite, Edamite and Canaanite terrorists. Also, the U.S. 'Dream Team' basketball squad loses a game for the first time to the Soviets thanks to questionable refereeing, pioneering the way for NBA refs to determine outcomes three decades later.
1976 A.D.: 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci scores seven perfect 10s, marking the first time any athlete had ever achieved a perfect ten. Her medals were later tainted, however, when it was discovered that she was actually 1,400-year old Lady Dracula.
1980 A.D.: At the Lake Placid Olympics, the Miracle on Ice occurs when a hopelessly outmatched American hockey squad defeats the Soviets after a giant crocodile unexpectedly devours Russian goalie Vladislav Tretiak after the first period.
1988 A.D.: In a momentary lapse of awesomeness, the IOC accidentally allows Jamaica to enter a bobsled team. Realizing its mistake during the race, the IOC rigs the event to ensure Jamaica finishes last. The Jamaicans would later extract their revenge in the 2048 Olympics, letting the streets of Antwerp run with the blood of IOC officials.
1992 A.D.: Cuba wins seven gold medals in boxing, and the first one ever awarded in baseball. Enraged IOC officials toss the medals into the Bay of Pigs and tell the Cubans to "go get it".
1994 A.D.: The Olympics momentarily flirt with being remotely interesting when figure skater Tonya Harding goes medieval on rival Nancy Kerrigan. As punishment, the IOC pours pig's blood over Harding as she steps onto the podium.
1998 A.D.: A longstanding tradition of hilarious disappointment begins when NHL professionals are allowed to compete in Olympic ice hockey and Canada still loses. The American team proudly takes the gold in the Interior Design event, however.
2002 A.D.: The Salt Lake City Games are mired in scandal from the very beginning, as IOC officials are accused of accepting bribes in exchange for holding the games in Salt Lake City. The officials are caught when investigators pants them, revealing special Mormon underwear that would be otherwise unobtainable.
2008 A.D.: Unable to hold another Nazi Olympics, IOC officials get the next best thing with the Red China Olympics, although any evidence of the actual Games is scarce due to insane levels of air pollution. China assures the rest of the world that the Three Happiness Fun Time Jumping Olympics were a Perfection Nobody Level Winner.
2010 A.D.: The Canadian hockey team is again embarrassed in the Games, despite breaking their own record for drop-passes on odd-man breakaways. After Nik Hagman's hat trick leads Finland to the Gold, the losing Russian team asks for an investigation into possible trilobite interference.
2012 A.D.: Their appetite for competition sated by Top Chef and Sheer Genius, women stop watching the Olympics en masse. Greek males ages 18-72 rejoice.
Well, that's it for this week's Fun Fact Cupcheck. Tune in next week when we discuss the IOC's announcement that they're holding the 2018 Nazi Olympics in Farmer's Branch: their insistence that any medals won by the Mexican team be made of styrofoam and chihuahua feces may surprise you.