Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Worst-designed Sport Of All Time

Thats not because they were from a small, tropical country, nor because they had faltered in previous Olympics. Rather, the Jamaicans had no chance because nobody who's trailing in an Olympic bobsled competition ever has a chance. In 1994, the first-place Germans followed up with three more almost identical runs and went on to win the gold. It happens every time. There is no international competition thats more predictable, or more dreadfully boring. The rules of Olympic bobsled are simple. In the two-person and four-person events, each team slides down the track four times. (The men compete in both bobsled formats, while women are restricted to the two-at-a-time variety.) The track does not change from round to round. The team with the lowest cumulative time wins. Seeing as the track does not change, the sled does not change, and the athletes do not change, you may not be surprised to learn that the times do not change much either. While there is some variation round to round, these time differences are so minuscule that dramatic comebacks, or even modest ones, are close to impossible.
For the original version visit http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/fivering_circus/2014/02/sochi_olympics_bobsled_why_it_s_the_worst_designed_sport_of_all_time.html

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