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Gary Hall Jr.: What are the winner and loser winter sports?


What are the winner and loser winter sports?

It’s the Olympics and there are winners and losers determined in the sports being contested; why not have winner and loser sports?

There’s some guy out there who came in last place at the Olympics. Does it mean that guy is terrible at his sport? No, of course not! He’s a great athlete just like the worst Olympic sport is still a great sport.

There are Olympic statisticians that I don’t have access to who could better identify the winner and loser sport based on actual statistics. I’m just going to determine the loser sport at the end of this article through some crude guessing method.

Criteria for the judging:

1) The loser sport should have both the lowest ticket price and lowest television ratings. The winner has the highest.

2) Empty seats at the Olympic Games are a sign of a loser sport. The higher attendance in the larger venue scores higher scores.

3) General participation should also be considered.

Apolo Anton Ohno may be one of the best short-track speedskaters in the world (and a really superb dancer), but how many registered short-track competitors are there in the world? Are there 20,000 in the entire world? I would be shocked if there were more.

I’m not arguing that a low sport participation level discounts what these athletes are doing, athletically. Short track truly is remarkable and exciting to watch.

Considering that short-track speedskating has been an Olympic event only since the 1992 Games, it’s understandable that participant levels don’t match that of other sports that have been around for a longer time.

It is my firm belief that more competitors = tougher competition, and tougher competition gets higher points when determining the winner winter sport.

You may be the best short-track skater in the world, but if your world consists of 20,000 people it’s less impressive than a world of millions of skiers.

There are winner athletes in loser sports. There are incredible athletes that excel in their unpopular sport and elevate the unpopular sport's ranking among the other sports.

Thanks to Apolo Ohno, short-track speedskating is not in danger of earning the title of the loser sport.

John Langbein is an owner of Quint Events. His business is one of the largest Olympic ticket brokers in the world, which isn’t that impressive since there are fewer than 20,000 ticket broker businesses in the world.

According to John, the highest-priced ticket for the Winter Olympics is for gold-medal hockey.

The lowest-priced ticket? Curling.

Add up the crackpot rating system I am inventing, and curling is the loser sport of the Winter Olympics. Sorry, curlers, all 182 of you.

The winning sport that has the highest attendance with the highest ticket price and the highest television ratings should win a gold medal as a sport, and a bonus from the International Olympic Committee reflective of the gratitude the IOC should have for that particular sport.

The winner sport is swimming, if swimming was a winter sport.

-- Gary Hall Jr.

Photo: Thomas Ulsrud of Norway slides through the house as he prepares to throw the rock during a curling training session. Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty.

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Comments (10)

curling is a fantastic sport. i believe there are over 1 million registered curlers in canada alone, and it is also played at a high level in scotland, scandanavia and the northern US. in fact, the best women's team now comes from China. it may be that in salt lake or turin the curling tickets were not popular, but i would be surprised if they don't draw well in vancouver.

anyway, what is the point of trying to determine a 'loser' sport? answer: none

your article is pointless and i'm mad at myself for wasting time commenting on it. but someone had to.

Is this article a poor attempt at humor? Absent a misguided attempt at comedy, this article is completely pointless and much worse, ill-informed. Curling will be incredibly popular in Vancouver. How can the number of tickets sold account for anything? If I recall correctly, tickets aren't even sold for a number of events such as cross-country skiing. Not being a competitive athlete myself, I would much rather watch curling than a "winner" sport, such as bobsledding. The idea of watching a metal tube flash by just doesn't compare with the tension of a good curling match.

Just an FYI....though you have listed the Godfather of Swimming as a former Olympian, there are no former Olympians...at least living ones. Anyone from any country who makes his or her Olympic team is always considered an Olympian.

Gary Hall Sr.

If only a few people read this ridiculous article, then is it a "loser article?" It's definitely pointless and ignorant.

Dear People Getting Way Too Upset About Nothing,

It is called commentary and opinion. Don't take it so seriously. And for that matter, don't take yourself so seriously.

K Thanks Bye!

Duke & Brandon; lighten up guys! I think Gary Jr. did a nice job with his "scientific" approach. I would've called it, "When Nerds decide to take up competitive sports". Brandon: "tension of a good curling match"? Really? Yes, I'm rolling around on the floor, laughing my ass off!
PS both of my parents curled & try to recruit me & my brothers to play while we were in high school but we refused on the grounds that we needed all the help we could get in trying to get laid and eliminating one major factor in the "rejection" department was crucial in our deciion not to curl.

BTW, curlers don't really help themselves too much. I mean, look at the pants on the guy in the picture.

Yeah ... go swimming! Although, I have to admit I enjoy a game of curling with some of my friends every once in a while. It's more of a get together than a sporting event though.

over 500 Million people in China alone play BASKETBALL...
of course, ALL of India, 1.3 BILLION, take a plunge in the Ganges, but is that reelly swimming Gary?

Sacred HOOPs is the Winner Sport.

(BTW: soccer is just gangs kicking a ball)

Hey Gary, try 1.2 million of us curlers.

Your 182 are all named Bubba and read your drivel.


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