Defend Shooting's place in the Olympics


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PaladinX13
August 16, 2004, 11:49 AM
Every four years when the Olympics roll around, inevitably, you get the peanut gallery discussion of what does and does not belong in the Olympics. Most often the discussion revolves around some vague definition of "sport" (despite the fact they're officially called Olympic "Events", not "Sports"). The athleticism of the participants is called into question along with the subjectivity of judgement, the role of technology and equipment, and the triviality of the skills. By these haphazard criteria, Shooting often ends up first on the chopping block, seen a step below Archery. Armchair critics claim no athleticism is required, the gun does all the work, while the shooter does naught but pull the trigger.

So... why does Shooting deserve its place in the Olympics?

(You can let the critics define the issue or argue seperate points, either way.)

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Vitamin G
August 16, 2004, 12:00 PM
The olympic games were originally based, if i remember correctly, on skills of war. Javelin throwing, shot put, pole vaulting, running (french olympics), etc.

Why shouldn't shooting be included? The games evolved as does war.

Soccer must be "Tactical futbol" :D

Sergeant Sabre
August 16, 2004, 12:20 PM
I challenge any critic who thinks all the shooter does is pull the trigger and that shooting is easy to try it.

I strongly agree with the above post that the Olympics began in ancient Greece as a competition of warriors pitting against one another the skills of war. A solid point.

Secondary to that, such as in the events of trap and skeet shooting (which don't really qualify as a wartime skill, is the role of the hunter. Since the dawn of man hunting was the method of putting food on the table. One can't imagine a more essential skill. Do you think two cro-magnon men may have looked out over a herd of mammoths and jested amongst themselves about which one was the better hunter? Knowing the competetive nature of man, probably. Shooting events stay.

If an Olympic event is to be chopped, I first recommend ballroom dancing, then figure skating, followed by synchronized swimming

Langenator
August 16, 2004, 01:24 PM
Personally, I say get rid of any event where you can't objectively determine a winner.

It'll never happen, because that would kill TV favorites like figure skating, gymnastics, and diving.

If guns had been invented, shooting would have been featured at the ancient Olympics, given it's use in both war and hunting.

And notice they're not trying to get rid of biathlon and modern pentathlon, two events that both feature shooting.

LawDog
August 16, 2004, 02:21 PM
On the contrary, modern pentathlon is on the list to get whacked. There for a while, we thought that Sydney was going to be the last Games for the pentathletes.

Shooting is as much a sport as any other Olympic Event. No other sport combines mental discipline with physical discipline to the point that shooting does. These atheletes slow down their hearts on command for crying out loud. Let's see a ball-room dancer pull that one off.

The air-rifle shooters are aiming for a dot the size of the period on the end of this sentence, using iron sights at 10 metres. 33 feet to hit something this ->.<- size.

And, strictly as a plus, there isn't a substance around that you can snort, inject, swallow or pop that will give you an advantage.

In a bow to increased demand, NBC announced that they will greatly increase coverage of the shooting sports in Athens; what is planned is going to be greater coverage of the shooting in this Olympics than in the past five Olympic Games combined.

Increased demand. Give yourselves a pat on the back, folks.

LawDog

grnzbra
August 16, 2004, 02:55 PM
Well, if they get rid of the pentathalon et al because it isn't a "sport" and we define a sport as a compteition of one against another (basketball, volleyball, etc), I would like to suggest some kind of force on force games using sims. They couldn't then say the guns are doing all the work.

HankB
August 16, 2004, 03:05 PM
. . . what is planned is going to be greater coverage of the shooting in this Olympics than in the past five Olympic Games combined. Five minutes' coverage at 0300 would accomplish that, wouldn't it?

Shooting qualifies as a sport because of the objective scoring - so many shots, so many points. You don't get extra credit for "style" or looks or because you're a sentimental favorite the way you do in gymnastics, figure skating, synchronized swimming, Olympic boxing, or diving.

Boats
August 16, 2004, 03:14 PM
I'd be more interested in Olympic style shooting if they were really shooting weapons. Air "weapons," gentlemen's shotgunning, and gee-whiz .22s do nothing for me.

Now, if the Olympic shooting were like some of the run and gun competitions I have seen for Army & Marine snipers, or even something like Camp Perry, I'd follow it slavishly, because then the sport would have at least some referent to real firearms and real target situations.

No air weapons for adults.
Off the shelf 9mm minimum floor for pistol.
.223 minimum for rifle.
No shotgunning course where just two rounds at a time would be adequate.:evil:

jason10mm
August 16, 2004, 03:23 PM
I had heard that some steel challenge type stuff were "auditioned" at Sydney with consideration to being made an official event at some point. Did this ever happen? Steel challenge is EXACTLY what an olympic shooting sport should be, IMHO. Exciting to watch, easy to describe, fun to shoot, yet difficult to master.

Detachment Charlie
August 16, 2004, 03:26 PM
I firmly believe that if they allow that goofy ribbon twirling crap (yes, crap) that the shooting section should be expanded to actual running gunfights through the streets of the host city. For some of the host cityies, this event won't even be noticed as out of the ordinary by the populous.
Want more? OK
To match that amazing synchronized ANYTHING, a two-man, High Noon face off is about the same, just with slightly less synchronization.
But, wait; there's more.
Ballroom dancing? I'll give you a new dancing sport. How about Yosemite Sam and, "I said, Dance! Ya varmit." That has possibilities.
I think I've made my point.
If you can't objectively measure the outcome, it shouldn't be in the Olympics and only those sports reflecting military abilies allowed.
Ribbon twirling my a$$ !!!:banghead:

Justin
August 16, 2004, 03:34 PM
Armchair critics claim no athleticism is required, the gun does all the work, while the shooter does naught but pull the trigger. Anyone who makes this statement is so obviously ignorant about precision pistol shooting, that they should obviously be ignored.

The biggest problem with keeping the shooting sports alive in the Olympics has more to do with gun control in various nations than it does with the legitimacy of the events. Imagine how much effort it must take to just get into the shooting sports in a nation like, say, Japan. When all is said and done, such athletes have probably put just as much effort into legally acquiring their gear as they have actual practice!

No air weapons for adults.
Off the shelf 9mm minimum floor for pistol.
.223 minimum for rifle.

And that, right there, would make the shooting sports inaccessible to the athletes of a majority of nations, and therefore make them irrelevant to the Olympics.

Not that I disagree with your basic premise, but the only way something like that would happen would be if there were a sea change in the gun control stances of practically every nation.

bogie
August 16, 2004, 03:37 PM
Well, if I'm correct, we're getting our national butt whupped.

Sigh...

Justin
August 16, 2004, 03:38 PM
I had heard that some steel challenge type stuff were "auditioned" at Sydney with consideration to being made an official event at some point. Did this ever happen? Dunno if the sport was ever demonstrated or not, but iirc, the VPC put out a massive, screechy vitriolic polemic of a press release in response to the subject even being breached.

:rolleyes:

Akurat
August 16, 2004, 04:26 PM
I say: More women's volleyball, less ping pong...ahem, excuse me, "table tennis". :D

No really, its not that big a deal...Shooting just isn't the most fun thing to watch on television...even for me, a gun enthusiast. I was watching the Air Rifle competition and it honestly bored me half to death. I can only imagine what the ordinary person must think..

And why are the Chinese kicking the crap out of us...quick little boogers :banghead:

ozzyrules
August 16, 2004, 05:56 PM
As much as i support the idea of shooting being an olympic sport, the olympics constantly overlook sports that deserve a spot in the games. Its almost a feeling of accepted defeat. The biggest sport i see that they have missed is rugby. Just as shooting is practiced in all of the populated continents, rugby is the number 1 growing sport in america and the world. It's hard to even respect the olympic committe when twice in one day i sat through ping pong matches, for a lack of enetertainment on television(OLN was just removed from my basic cable). It's comforting to know that every unrecognized sport at the olympic games is angry about the fact that some of the best athletes in the world go unnoticed and continue to strive to be the best in their field.

hillbilly
August 16, 2004, 06:29 PM
I competed on rifle teams in high school and in college.

I have just recieved my entry level rifle coaching credentials, and am working on full and complete certification.

Anyone who thinks that Olympic style rifle is not an athletic event has never put on all that gear, and tried to maintain concentration and body mechanics for an entire course of fire.

hillbilly

Monkeyleg
August 16, 2004, 07:07 PM
Justin: "Imagine how much effort it must take to just get into the shooting sports in a nation like, say, Japan."

For the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, shooters had to have their guns taken to a storage facility run by the government. All shooters had to have retina scans, and would have to be checked with a retina scan each time before they could get their guns from the storage facility. They had to be accompanied by a Japanese official when they went to practice or compete. The number of rounds was also noted, and all rounds had to be accounted for upon return to the facility.

Sarah Brady must have been salivating over the process.

Frohickey
August 16, 2004, 07:17 PM
I think that the Olympics should include a new sport.

The Big Twenty. "20 shots in a 20 inch circle in 20 seconds at a 1000 yards."

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