You are here: Home>Collections

Yep, that's an Olympic event

August 06, 2012|By Matt Lindner | For RedEye

We hear you snickering over there. If you're merely a casual fan of the Olympics, some of the competitions are pretty obscure, and others sound downright dirty.

Events with names that serve as double entendres bring out our inner Michael Scott as we listen to broadcasters breathlessly call the action in their serious announcer voices. In the interest of keeping things (slightly) more civilized, RedEye presents your guide to the Double Entendre Olympics of 2012.

SNATCH, CLEAN AND JERK

What it sounds like: Hmmm, masturbation comes to mind.

What it is: Weightlifting lends itself to innuendo thanks in large part to the name of the two sub-events that comprise it. Competitors are measured based on their total scores in the snatch, followed by the clean and jerk. It sounds like the setup to a bad night at a strip club, but it's actually quite different.

Both involve an athlete placing a lot of weight on a barbell and lifting it above his or her head. In the snatch, lifters bend over and simply raise the weight above their heads with their arms extended while attempting to keep their feet side by side and completely still. In the clean and jerk, there's an extra degree of difficulty. Lifters must first bring the bar up to their chests just below the neck and hold it there (the "clean" part) before hoisting it above their heads while again keeping their feet side by side and still.

SKEET SHOOTING

What it sounds like: A moment of, well, completion for a guy.

What it is: Well, it does involve shooting something out of a long, narrow tube and an explosion. That's where the similarities end, however.

Skeet shooters use a shotgun to fire at clay targets moving through the sky. In the Olympic finals, competitors shoot 100 times from eight spots. If you're going to try your hand at skeet shooting, make sure you've got a steady finger. Skeet shooters get only one shot per target, so if you miss the first time around, you're skeet out of luck.

FLOOR EXERCISE

What it sounds like: The ideal ending to a great date.

What it is: How we'd get to work if we were young, in shape and could do a handspring down Michigan Avenue without breaking our necks.

The floor exercise is an integral part of gymnastics competition. Athletes complete several tumbling sets (performed to music, in the women's case) to impress judges. Their ultimate goal: Don't stumble or fall, lest the judges dock points. Of all the gymnastics events, floor exercise is the one that relies more on grace than brute strength, giving competitors a chance to add flair to their routines.

HANDBALL

What it sounds like: Rosie Palm and her five friends throwing a party, if you catch our drift.

What it is: Your favorite gym class activity as an Olympic sport.

A game of handball looks like a hybrid of basketball and soccer. Teams play seven (one goalie, six on offense/defense) to a side on a court slightly larger than a basketball court with a round ball that can be passed or bounced. Teams score by throwing the ball and into the opposing team's net. As with basketball, ball movement is key to scoring and games are much higher scoring than in soccer, with both teams regularly reaching double digits.

BREASTSTROKE

What it sounds like: Getting to second base.

What it is: People doing their best impression of frogs racing across a pool.

Breaststroke races are a visual feast for the eyes because swimmers' bodies are in constant motion splashing about the pool. Their heads are constantly bobbing above and underneath the surface of the water. As they're bringing their heads underwater, their hands come together and push out to the sides to generate momentum, which is aided by moving their feet in a frog-kick motion.

TEAM PURSUIT

What it sounds like: Packs of women and men trolling the bars in search of Mr./Mrs. Right Now.

What it is: Think your most intense spin class—but in Thunderdome. In short, it's a cycling competition wherein two teams ride around a banked track in a straight line at high speeds trying to catch each other from opposite ends. Further complicating matters is that the leader of the line changes every few laps. According to the International Cycling Union, "the winning team is the one that manages to catch its opponents or that records the fastest time." Words can't describe the intensity—YouTube it and see for yourself.

RedEye Chicago Articles
|
|
|