Saturday, August 11, 2012

Competing in the buff

Recently, a friend of mine wondered why there's no men's synchronised swimming in the London Olympics. I'd like to push the envelope further by suggesting that Olympians resume the grand old tradition and compete in the buff in future games. No, it's not that I want the olympics to be turned into a cross breed of Sports Illustrated and Playboy.

In his book "The Naked Olympics", Tony Perrottet highlighted that the Greeks' insistence on playing sports in the nude was considered bizarre by other cultures, but not just because of all the twigs and berries flopping about. Nudity was seen as an equalizer: Sans finery, the rich were indistinguishable from the poor.

This may level the playing field, especially in events like swimming where swimmers with the means to don advanced swimwear have been accused of "technological doping" in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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