After Hours

Eight ways geeks would improve the Summer Olympic games

The events of the Summer Olympics aren't quite as interesting as the movies, games, and comics geeks are used to enjoying. Don't worry, we can fix that.

We all enjoy some aspects of the modern Summer Olympic Games, but for geeks weaned on decades of comic book smackdowns, movie chases, and video game gunfights, the Olympics are a bit placid. Below are eight events that geeks could, would, and should spruce up into modern entertainment masterpieces.

1: Archery

Target arrows are so...quaint. After years of debating the ultimate outcome of Hawkeye vs. Green Arrow vs. Legolas, geeks want to see some Olympians square off with boomerang-, boxing glove-, handcuff-, and explosive-tipped arrows. If you can't consistently ensnare, explode, or decapitate a downrange mannequin with an absurd novelty arrow, you don't deserve a medal.

2: Cycling

Tracks will be retrofitted to illuminate the path of each competitor with a unique color. If an opponent crosses the trail you've already "walled," they're...uh...disqualified.

3: Equestrian

One word: jousting.

4: Fencing

In the absence of functional lightsabers (for now), we geeks will simply expand the fencing categories beyond mere foils, sabers, and epees to include katanas, broadswords, scimitars, and claymores. Extra points will be awarded for competitors who invoke the name of Crom.

5: Judo/Taekwondo

Competitors will be issued utility belts with nonlethal weapons — bolos, small boomerangs, smoke bombs, and so on — with higher scores awarded for strikes or pins made with these tools. Capes, cowls, and catchphrases optional, but encouraged.

6: Gymnastics

The compulsory routine will be held in an abandoned dockside warehouse as choreographed by Jackie Chan.

7: Shooting

Enough with skeet. Competitors get one duffel bag, four holsters, and three minutes to clear a lobby full of paper targets. Accuracy is paramount, but you get extra points for style. Whoa.

8: Track & Field

When Skynet finally comes online, we'll need Olympian super-warriors to evade and destroy the hunter-killer robot aircraft programmed to terminate all that lives. Sprinting? Now in a zigzag pattern while chased by flying drones. Hurdles? Becomes speed-leaping behind cover to evade flying drones. Relay race? Hand off a shock-hardened thumb-drive without being spotted by flying drones. Pole vault? Now leaping onto the back of an oncoming drone. Shot put, javelin, and hammer throw? Now all about hitting and disabling a flying drone. The Decathlon? Ten different battles against a small fleet of flying drones. Tell me you wouldn't watch that.

Got your own ideas for geekifying the Summer Olympiad, or just care to predict which country would prevail in the above-outlined events? Sixteen days of glory await you in the comments section.


Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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