December 3rd, 2008


The "BBC Sports Review of the Year" post of the year

The Credit Crunch has Media pressures have forced a change in the Modern Pentathlon, that most idealistic (and militaristic) of twentieth-century Olympic confections, arguably reducing it to a quadrathlon. Specifically, the shooting discipline has been subsumed into the running discipline, which will now form a run with shooting interludes. The Biathlon, competed in the Winter Olympics and elsewhere, sets the precedent by illustrating that ski-ing and shooting can be combined into a single event that is not without considerable charm. A running-and-shooting biathlon seems a strange mix, though, but this is probably strange just through unfamiliarity. Well worth a try, but I'm not clear how this can be considered an improvement over the traditional "five"-inspired definition of a pentathlon. As ever, I would be delighted to be educated otherwise.

Changing subject somewhat, I do like the "Hurricane sprint" format of Nordic combined events, where time penalties (for competitors not finishing in first place of the first event of the competition) are replaced by distance penalties, but it must be awful logistically. I hadn't really thought about the consequences of people racing around with loaded weapons before, on the grounds that cross-country skiers are sufficiently gentle and sufficiently handicapped by their motion that they can reasonably be trusted to look after their armaments. Running around with loaded weapons, though, is somehow much stranger - almost like it's an event that should take place at the World Police (and Fire) Games and nowhere else.

The BBC have announced the shortlist of ten for the Sports Personality of the Year award this year, along with the nominations that generated the ten. To me, this is a stronger indicator of impending Christmas than the first mince pie. I analysed the 2006 contest, the perpetually wonderful and perpetually owed-nineteen-e-mails Iain analysed the 2007 event. Collapse )
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