Mormon athletes competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics accounted for two silvers and one bronze medal during the games in Sochi, Russia. 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 Mormons 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. During the Sochi game women’s ski jumping was added to the schedule. To increase Mormon’s gold medal count we need to petition the IOC to add some “Mormon-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 Mormon Gold Medal sports.
First on my list is “Moving Van Packing”. No one crams grandma’s priceless antiques into a moving van faster than Mormons. 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 swearing.
The second event would be “Chairs” (two events—setting up and taking down). Mormons 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 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 Mormons set up and take down the chairs for the opening and closing ceremonies. All they’d have to pay us is a few gold medals.
Teams for “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?
Once we get these two 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.”