Event Dates: Friday August 3 – Sunday August 12
Medal Events: 47
Geeks on Sports previewer Tim Blacksmith here today to tell you all about –Athletics, which is a rather vague name for an event. But it’s designed to be all-encompassing of the events that occur in the Olympics of an athletic nature. Some would argue that all sports are athletic in nature…but those people have never watched bowling, clearly.
The events under the Athletics umbrella at the 2012 London Olympics involve events for both men and women competitors. Events in which both genders compete (independent of one another) are: 10,000m Race, 100m Sprint, 200m Sprint, 400m Hurdles, 400m Sprint, 800m Sprint, 1500m Race, 3000m Steeplechase, 5000m Race, 20km Race Walk, Discus, Hammer, High Jump, Javelin, Long Jump, Pole Vault, Shot Put, Triple Jump, 4x100m Relay, 4x400m Relay.
Men’s exclusive events are: 50km Race Walk, Decathlon, 110m Hurdles. Women’s exclusive events are: Marathon, Heptathlon, 100m Hurdles.
With so many sports involved it’s hard to cover them all in detail. Thus, I’ve arbitrarily decided on certain events to talk about.
First up: Javelin. Tell me you wouldn’t love to do this. They hand you a spear that’s between 2.2m and 2.7m long, point you towards a big field and say “go, throw it far”. Awesome. Next up: 5000m Race. It’s called a race, but it’s really a sprint; a 3.1 mile long SPRINT! These people are nuts.
Continuing: 3000m Steeplechase which is normally a sport involving horses, not people. In this event men and women run around the track, occasionally having to jump over a hurdle, on the other side of which is a giant puddle of water. The goal here seems to be: how far can we make people run with wet feet? Can you imagine the athlete’s foot these people get? Oh, right…no, you can’t (wrong audience…).
Finally, we come to the Pole Vault. Here competitors are handed a flexible pole and told, “go, run down this path, stick that pole in a tiny crevice and use it to push yourself over that bar dangling many, many feet of the ground.” Oh, and you’re not allowed to touch the bar. THAT’S INSANE! Maybe it’s my irrational fear of heights coming out here but…seriously…insane.
Athletics is the crown jewel of almost every Olympic Games. The 100m Sprint regularly sets records for fastest man alive (sadly, the Flash was banned from competition after the 1980 games) and people, for some reason, love the idea of athletes running around a track carrying a small metal tube in order to hand it off to another person who will run around the same track. On that note, if you drop the tube you’re disqualified which just seems overly harsh.
To see where to watch this or your other favorite sports, check out NBC’s coverage in your local area.
I hope you have enjoyed this preview of the 2012 London Olympics Athletics event. Continue to check 8DaysAGeek for more previews of Olympic events.
This is Geeks on Sports previewer Tim Blacksmith signing off.
For more details on the individual sports, check out my blog.