By Taylor Lee
Record-Breaking Attention Spans
The 2012 London Olympics brought with it no shortage of historic milestones. Gabby Douglas became the first African-American woman to take gold in Women’s All Around Gymnastics. Usain Bolt earned his title as the fastest man alive. Michael Phelps ended his career as the most decorated Olympic athlete ever. It’s no wonder then that, according to Nielsen, the London games were the most watched event in U.S. television history. However, it goes without saying that the American television viewing audience has a short attention span. We crave new, inventive, original programming, and in this Golden Age of scripted television, it is imperative that the 2016 Olympics comes up with creative ways to entice the viewing public.
How exactly should the IOC ensure that those 215 million viewers tune in again in 2016? By doing something spectacular. Something ambitious. Something you’d be a fool not to watch. And I think I have the perfect idea.
Here’s my proposal: Let’s create a race designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience. Three days of ceaseless competition that will test athletes’ minds and bodies. Millions upon millions of enraptured viewers across the globe. Seventy events. One gold medal. Ladies and gentleman, I present: THE HEPTACONTATHALON (TM)
Swimming, biking, running, shot put, high jump, discus, javelin, backwards biking, clapping, vogueing, screaming, typing, fast spinning, fast eating, spinning in circles while typing, squinting, spinning in circles while eating, double dutch, parabolic flight, “The Widowmaker,” Freudian analysis, Pop Rock toss, legal dictation, comparative literature, phonecall to parents, lights-out group cage match, leatherwork, Korean crossword, Weed-Eating, eating weeds, prayer group, interdisciplinary curriculum development, tai chi, chai tea, Magic: The Gathering, putting on skinny jeans, Captain Beefheart tribute, novel writing, 500-meter swim (through apple butter, courtesy of Cracker Barrel [TM]), broadcasting, IT, reverse origami (turn origami back into flat sheet of paper without ripping), open-heart surgery, open a Heart CD, RipStik, vision board, forming a ska band, loan sharking, massage school, 10 minute break, delivering bad news to a child, upper-level management, fencing (making a fence), drum circle, fine china dash (broken china=immediate disqualification), fine china clown dash (broken china=extra points because now you’re a clown and spilling is funny), transcendental meditation, mindfulness meditation, zen meditation, moshing, binge watching, Roller Coaster Tycoon, slam poetry, bear shaving, Biblical commentary, postmodern sculpture, Endless Shrimp, marketing, group counseling, archery.
Be the Change You Want To See In the Oplympics
I truly believe that this event is the future of the Olympic Games. If you feel the same, contact the IOC via twitter @Olympics or on Facebook at facebook.com/olympics.
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