For the sports-mad amongst us, the Olympic Games are the ultimate spectator opportunity. Over two and a half weeks, a multitude of events across 26 different sports will be hotly contested with millions of people watching from around the globe. Here are my picks for the most exciting sports that you should be tuning into.
It could just be all those loud noises, but seeing these athletes shoot with pin point accuracy is pretty impressive. The most exciting are the trap and skeet shooting events, with the athletes aiming at moving clay pigeons, watching them explode into clouds of dust with a direct hit.
4. Cycling Track
Cycling is all about power and speed, and the track cycling events is speed on steroids (am I allowed to use the terms cycling and steroids in the same sentence?). The sprint event in particular is highly exciting with the tactics of the riders pedalling at a crawling speed, and sometimes even coming to a complete stop in an attempt to get the other rider to lead before putting on the power on the last lap to storm home. Even the pursuit events are incredibly watchable, with the riders starting at opposite sides of the track, trying to catch the other rider. Plus, there’s all that those rippling leg muscles in lycra.
Sword play has always captured our attentions, whether it is the Three Musketeers, Excalibur, Luke Skywalker v Darth Vader, or Rob Roy. The fencing event manages to capture some of this excitement, with all the cutting and thrusting coupled with deep lunging contrasting with the fine form and posture reminiscent of noble knights. En guard!
It might just be me but the explosive sport of weightlifting gets me excited. Whether it is the snatch or the clean and jerk, as the weights get progressively heavier and the strain on the athletes’ faces get progressively more strained, the more exciting it is when, with an almighty groan or screech, they finally lift that barbell high into the air in triumph.
There are some less exciting events in the Athletics program, such as the marathon or the steeplechase, but some of the short track events are always hotly contested and highly exciting to watch. Perennially popular are the 100m and 200m races, a great demonstration of speed, as are the 110m hurdles and the 4x100m relays. Some of the field events are also fun to watch, especially the long jump, seeing people clapping along at an accelerating speed to an athlete’s run up until they finally hurl themselves from the board. The question on everyone’s lips this year is, will Usain Bolt be able to set a new world record in the men’s 100m event?
What are your favourite Olympic sports?