Friday, August 22, 2008

How to get an Olympic medal

The Olympics are great, and you are no doubt feeling some level of Olympic fever. The games can be very motivating, and people will push themselves to start lifting weights (assuming they haven't seen the Hungarian), running, or swimming. Some may take this motivation one step further and decide they want to be an Olympian. The ultimate goal of every Olympian is to win a medal (preferably a pretty gold color) for themselves and their country. I have outlined some options for you below, on how to get an Olympic medal.



1. Buy one
This may not be the most satisfying method, but spending money is always an option. This article tells us that a gold medal is worth about $220 in terms of the metals it contains. (No, it's not 100% gold.) Creating the medal isn't free, so let's round it up to $400 or so. You probably won't be able to buy one at this price, an athlete might want a tad more for their trouble. Otylia Jedrzejczak sold her 2004 gold medal for $82,500 to raise money for charity. A silver or bronze medal would probably be cheaper, but if you're going to shell out that sort of cash, you might as well go for the gold, so to speak.

2. Steal one
Israel's only gold medal in Olympic history (ouch), won by Gal Fridman in 2004 was stolen (double ouch) from a safe in his home, along with his bronze medal. It was eventually found by a little girl in the forest, and returned to him. He's probably more careful with it now, so you might want to target someone else.

3. Find one
To utilize this method, you should attend the medal ceremonies held after Olympic events. Pay close attention to the floor, medals have been known to be found there. Sweden's left his bronze medal on the ground out of disappointment. (Link contains video.) Don't feel bad, they took it away from him for showing poor sportsmanship, so you're not really stealing it. Nonetheless, it will be hard to not draw attention to yourself since these events are broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide, but it's just lying there for the taking. This method probably won't get you a gold medal, as few athletes will throw a gold medal onto the ground out of disgust for not winning a non-existent platinum or diamond medal.



4. Win one
This is unarguably the most honorable, satisfying and difficult method listed on this page. Since this is most likely your preferred method, I will give some pro-tips on how to make your medal-winning experience easier. Only the Summer Olympic games will be discussed, as they are on everyone's mind. The Winter Olympics are much more awesome, but we'll talk about them in two years or so.

4a. Don't cheat
The Olympic games are kind of a big deal, and people really want to win medals. Some jerks will take this desire too far, and will cheat. John Candy put weights into his bobsled, and many athletes are caught doping (taking performance enhancing drugs, steroids, e.g.) every year. Don't try doping your horse, they check for that too. As science progresses, we get better and better at detecting these things. To be on the safe side, you shouldn't listen to music either.



4b. Choose a team sport
Why try for a medal alone when you can have your team do the work for you. In fact, in some events (swimming relays, e.g.), if you participate in the qualifying heats, but don't race in the medal event itself, you can still get a medal! This method will get you less fame, since your team/country gets more glory, and your name is spoken less than it would be had you won it alone, but we're only talking about how to get a medal here.

4c. Pick an obscure sport
You want a gold medal in some swimming event? So does the rest of the world. How about sprinting? Everyone can run, and most likely faster than you. In order to maximize your odds of getting a medal, choose a sport where fewer people compete. The last time Polo was played, only five nations competed. Unfortunately, it hasn't been an Olympic sport in 72 years, so try your luck with something else. I recommend a 'rich people sport' like sailing, shooting, or something with horses.

4d. Win a 'demonstration' medal
Are the Olympics in your country this year? Do you play an obscure sport that most countries don't? Great! Before a sport is officially introduced to the Olympics, it is introduced as a demonstration sport. Some examples are ballooning, lifesaving, Finnish baseball, and Basque Pelota. If you didn't know those were Olympic events, it's because they are no longer. The only issue with this is that technically, the medals are smaller (physically) than the non-demonstration sport medals, and they're not included in the official medal count, but there are just technicalities.

So there you have it, now you know how to get an Olympic medal. If you win a medal, be sure to credit me as your inspiration. If you steal one, please don't.

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr

Godspeed.

11 comments:

Shawn R. said...

[rant]

My God - the link you provide to the article presenting a doctor's argument claiming that an athlete's listening to music may violate the WADA code may be the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. While the doctor cited in the article claims that listening to music may "Artificially enhanc[e] the uptake, transport or delivery of oxygen . . ." under Art. M1 of the WADA Code (which the doctor links to for authority), he neglects to mention that music is, obviously, not a Prohibited Substance or Method under Art. 2.1-2.8. So, regardless of whether music may enhance oxygen transfer in the body (just as numerous other non-prohibited activities do, like stretching, or eating food for example), because that oxygen transfer is not effectuated by a prohibited substance or method, it does not constitute a violation of the WADA code. The argument is intellectually dishonest and misleading, but yet another example of an athlete, particularly an American one, being targeted out of some misguided jealousy or ethnocentrism.

[/rant]

Will said...

Yeah, it's pretty much the most misleading, ridiculous argument that I've ever heard.

However, after reading your comment, I downloaded a copy of the code and did some reading.

The WADA's method of employing a 'prohibited list' doesn't seem like the best approach. When some new doping method comes up, doesn't this give the green light for any athletes to use it until the WADA publishes it in their annual list? Obviously morally wrong, but legally okay from what I can see.

Article 4.4's 'therapeutic use' also seems a bit shady. From what I understand, they grant all international athletic federations (the IOC in this case) the ability to give exceptions to these rules, and maintain the power to review any of these exceptions.

I can't quite put my finger on why this seems wrong, but it just doesn't feel right.

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