Would You Medal in a Holiday Olympics?

I think the Olympics could use an upgrade/refresh in the events category.  It’s not like the winter and summer Olympics are lacking events. There’s almost 450. But when you can make room for solo synchronized swimming and the monobob then one could reason that there’s a justification to squeeze in a few more shall we say “sports.”

In fact, forget about just adding a couple of measly events. If I was on the International Olympic Committee, I would explore the idea of making the entire month of December a mini-Olympics featuring events like speed wrapping, power baking, and a check-out line obstacle course.

I came up with this grand and glorious idea because I consider December my Olympics. It’s a month that requires training, discipline, fastidious scheduling and a year-long commitment to excellence to make it successfully through the 31 days with your sanity intact and your family none the wiser as to how you pull off a magical holiday every-single-year.

The thing that appeals to me the most about a December Olympics is that the contestants wouldn’t be young. The average age of athletes competing in the last Olympics was 25. Please, a 25-year-old couldn’t even qualify for the holiday Olympics. This is because a contestant in this Olympics needs decades of training which favors the mature athlete. The briefest look at some events explains why.

Take speed wrapping. Sure, the word “speed,” to some, would denote that to medal in this event you would want the phalanges and metacarpals of a younger person. Not to mention the hand eye coordination of someone who doesn’t require reading glasses with 2.5 magnification. But you would be wrong.

Speed wrapping is judged on paper management (no using one roll to wrap a shirt box), precision of paper folding (the sharpest of creases – thank you very much) tape usage (less is more) and bow artistry.

To be able to instantly eyeball the exact amount of paper to use, make creases so sharp it would render the average mortal in ICU for deep papercut wounds, make a bow that would qualify as fine art from refuse in your junk drawer and to do this all in under three minutes is a talent that needs years to manifest itself into this level of greatness.

The same could be said of power baking that’s judged on cookie taste, quantity, range of flavors, cleanest kitchen and ability to adapt to an emergency scenario.

 Most of us know how to make some holiday cookies. But making dozens of different holiday cookies, from bars, to rolled to dropped in under two hours requires mad skills. Now add in doing all that and having the cookies boxed up and the kitchen cleaned in that two hours, while you’ve already started dinner and done the Heimlich maneuver on a dog who was choking on a wayward pecan that fell on the floor and you have a feat that only the most seasoned bakers/multi-taskers could pull off.

Now logic would dictate that going for the gold in the check-out line obstacle course would play to the strengths of a younger athlete. But this event is less about speed and more about human behavior and profiling. To win big you need to have the expertise honed from years of observation to correctly pick which line will move the fastest and the confidence to quickly jump lanes when someone asks the cashier to look up their frequent shopper number.

In the full disclosure department the reason I’m so hyped about starting a December Olympics is because it’s the only competition that I could participate in and not thoroughly embarrass myself. I’m not saying I would win but I’d sure like the chance to show off my holiday mojo. 


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