Better Not Be Bored in Beijing

What would you guess is the most unpopular Olympic sport of all time? Tough question, considering the variety of weird events that have been included in years past. There was the Live Pigeon Shooting event in the 1904 St. Louis games. 300 pigeons bought the farm, God rest their souls.

Most boring? How about the 10k walk or curling or synchronized swimming? They may be tough, but they're not exactly riveting. Well, according to Floyd Conner's book, "The Olympics' Most Wanted," the least popular sport in all the annals of the Olympics is, you guessed it, croquet. Only one spectator, an Englishman, paid to watch the croquet matches at the 1900 Paris Olympics. And wouldn't you know it, the French swept the medals.

Actually, for the most part, I enjoy the Games with their pressure and drama and dedication. The Olympic spirit, at least what remains of it, is a positive, much-needed antidote for today's wild and warped world of sports. As the games begin, I hope at least one honest, dedicated, non-doping, play-by-the-rules, patriotic athlete wins some worthy event to make us all proud.


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