Debating William & Mary, sports and culture since 2011. Updated every Wednesday.

Figure Skating Is Not a Sport

In Sports Philosophy on February 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm

With the 2014 Winter Olympics in full swing in Sochi, CDH has caught Olympic fever. Bobsleigh, ‘boarding, bathrooms — we can’t get enough of it. But this week, we turn to the Winter Games’ dirty secret. What is a “sport?”

Figure skating is the uncontested king of competitions at the Winter Olympics. That’s especially true at the 2014 Games. Host country Russia’s reputation as a figure skating powerhouse is well known, and a crop of young Americans, led by fan favorite Gracie Gold have reaffirmed the event’s prominence at the Games. Emphasis on event, because, like it or not, figure skating is not a sport.

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This is not an attack on figure skating. No one is saying that figure skating is easy or pedestrian. It’s incredibly difficult, takes years of training, and, as Russian skater Evgeni Plushenko can attest, it can be incredibly dangerous. It really is an art form, combining the most complicated elements of athleticism, grace, movement and dance. But it’s not a sport.

Why Olympic Football Needs to Happen

In Football on February 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

With the Winter Olympics set to begin on Thursday, CDH has the games on the mind. But we’re not thinking bobsled — we’re thinking football. Today, Ian Brickey takes a closer look at the possibility of American football as an Olympic sport.

Will an Olympic gold medal rival a Super Bowl championship as the top achievement in football? It could happen sooner than you think.

The International Federation of American Football received provisional recognition from the International Olympic Committee in a Dec. 10 vote. Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez reported that the IOC could vote as soon as 2017 to approve football as a full-fledged Olympic event, with competition beginning at the 2024 Summer Games.

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The IOC cited football’s international growth in popularity as the rationale for the decision. The IFAF currently features 64 member countries and offers three versions of the game: tackle, flag and beach. Football was previously featured as a demonstration program at the 1904 and 1932 Summer Games.

Reading Time, Five Minutes

In Baseball, Basketball, Football on February 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Crim Del Harris’s weekend update of the week’s top sports stories. 

Jeff Goldblum has a great line in the 1984 film The Big Chill that all bloggers should take to heart. Talking about his dead-end job at People, Goldblum’s “Michael” discusses the magazine’s one editorial rule: “You can’t write anything longer than the average person can read during the average crap.” It’s with that sentiment in mind that CDH debuts an irregularly recurring feature — Reading Time, Five Minutes. Borrowed from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bernie Miklasz, RTFM will give you a run down of the big stories in sports, with some witty comments and a funny Vine, or something. We haven’t quite figured it out yet. Anyway, let’s begin!

Earlier this week Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced the league’s actions to protect pitchers from line drives. Beginning in spring training later this month, pitchers will have the option of wearing a cap with extra padding around the cranium to protect against head trauma and brain injury. While the league’s effort to protect players is admirable, these caps look…pretty terrible. [Cue Great Gazoo joke.]

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