Olympian Disruption

The Summer Olympics was due to start today (Fri, 24 Jul 2020) @ Tokyo but has been rescheduled to to 23 July 2021. This pause provides an opportunity for us to reimagine how the format of the Olympics itself could be disrupted [fun, non-serious post]:

De-emphasise winning in favour of friendly tests of abilities. An over focus on winning results in hacking, doping, obsession with medal standings, pressure cooker sports academies, extreme technicalities etc.

Make events less predictable and more fun by introducing random elements. For example, the 100m sprint could be turned into 2 x 50m (requires a turn). Athletes won't know what the modifier will be beforehand, so they can't optimise train but just need to be in good general condition.

Have newer, more relatable contests. Discus and shot put are two activities hardly anyone remotely does. Instead, combine them into tests of dynamic strength. Such as tossing bales of hay, sacks of grain, grapefruits etc.

Replace gold, silver and bronze medals with (more environmentally friendly) brushed steel merit medallions for top three or four finishes. For instance, in the boxing finals, both participants get merit medallions.

Athletes can compete in one Olympics max. This takes the Games back to its more amateur roots and widens participation and freshness, maintaining its attractiveness to host cities, sponsors and broadcasters.