Latter-day Saint Olympics
Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saint athletes competing in the a recent Winter Olympics
accounted for two silvers and one bronze medal during the games. That’s
wonderful, but as every guy who has ever played church basketball knows, coming
in second (or third) is a lot like losing. Now I don’t mean to disparage the
accomplishments of these outstanding athletes, but aren’t bronze medals kind of
like attaining the Telestial Kingdom?
In addition to
better training, stronger athletes, and more wins, perhaps we also need to add
some sports in which Latter-day Saints would naturally excel. The modern
Olympics awards medals in so called sports like Rhythmic Gymnastics, Synchronized
Swimming, Curling, Ice Dancing and Parallel (but not perpendicular) Snowboarding.
Women’s ski jumping was recently added to the games. To increase Latter-day Saints
gold medal count we need to petition the IOC to add some “LDS-Friendly” sports
to the schedule.
I’ve put some
serious thought into this and I think I’ve come up with a few activities, that
with a little lobbying (and some Relief Society meals), we could convert into
sure-fire LDS Gold Medal sports.
First on my
list is “Moving Van Packing”. No one crams grandma’s priceless antiques into a
moving van faster than Saints. To qualify as a real Olympic event there would
need to be some judges and rules. For example, breaking a leg off a Chippendale
Side Chair would result in a ten-second penalty; scratching the top of a French
Provincial Table would incur a five-second penalty. Judges would time the event
and deduct points for injuries such as crushing a toe under the leg of a 900
pound piano or throwing out a back. Points would also be deducted for cursing
or for saying "Fetch," "Flip," "Snap" or
event would be “Chairs” (two events—setting up and taking down). Saints set up
chairs in the chapel, overflow, classrooms, gym, stage, and in the Primary and
Relief Society rooms—and that’s just on Sundays. We also set up chairs for
church dinners, Stake Conference, Ward Conference, weddings, funerals, Young
Men and Young Women activities, baptisms, basketball games, General Conference,
Boy Scouts and family reunions. Heck, sometimes just for fun a bunch of guys
will go down to the church and set up some chairs. I think “Chairs” would
displace Curling as the least interesting Olympic sport.
I see “Chairs
Setting” and “Putting Away Chairs” as respectively, the first and final Olympic
events. The IOC would save a fortune by having Saints set up and take down the
chairs for the opening and closing ceremonies. The cost would only be a few
“Chairs” and “Moving” would comprise the same four guys in the ward who show up
for every assignment (Elder’s Quorum President, his counselor and two random guys).
In fact, knowing that a spot on the Olympic team is up for grabs might
encourage more guys to show up for moves and chair assignments. Can you
imagine how quickly we could unload a moving van or set up for the “Blue and
Gold Banquet” if all 47 Elders in the ward showed up?
Another event for
consideration is “Phone Tree Communication" where points are awarded for
the most people invited to dinner in the cultural hall in the least time, with
penalties assessed for modifying the message as it moves along the tree.
Once we get
these events permanently enshrined in the Olympics, we can lobby to add some
other “Mormon-Friendly” events like “Diaper Changing”, “Dodge the Bishop” and
“Tandem Meal Delivery”. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to set up some tables
and chairs for the “Sister Appreciation Dinner.”