Talk about Having a High Opinion of Yourself…

With the Olympics drawing to a close, I found the results of a recent survey quite fascinating.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. residents revealed that 40 percent think they’re fit enough to compete in at least one summer or winter sport at the Olympics. That includes three times as many men as women (60% vs. 22%), half of all respondents from the Northeast (52%), and almost 70 percent of those under the age of 35.

Basketball, soccer, and swimming are particularly popular choices, which seems to add to the craziness of the results.

Take basketball, for example.

  • Just think of how many kids don’t make their high school basketball team.
  • Then think of how few high school players continue to play in college, particularly at the highest (Division 1) level.
  • Then think how few college players make it to the pros.
  • And finally, think about how few pros are invited to play on the Olympic team. There are only 12 players on the team.

We are talking the best of the best of the best.

The most recent number I found showed that 550,000 boys played high school basketball in 2017/18. And even if eight years later all 12 Olympic players come from this group of boys, we are talking about a 22 out of a million chance of making the Olympic team.

And then there’s swimming, a sport I am a bit more familiar with. I was a decent swimmer and could have swam for a Division 1 team, but I would have never qualified for Nationals. And of those swimmers who do qualify for the Division 1 nationals, a small subset will be good enough to qualify for the Olympic trials. And at the Olympic trials, you need to typically finish first or second to make the Olympic team (as well as meet the Olympic qualifying time standard).

So once again we are talking about a tiny fraction of swimmers who are good enough to compete at the Olympics.

So when I read that 40% of people surveyed think they are fit enough to compete in the Olympics, all I could think was; “Did you ever even compete in sports, bro?”


89 thoughts on “Talk about Having a High Opinion of Yourself…

  1. Wow! Some people really don’t want to face reality. I have no trouble admitting that I am not fit enough to compete in an Olympic sport! Not unless they invent one of the new ones we were talking about before. LOL!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. If there was an Olympic team for talking about everything and absolutely nothing simultaneously, I’d be good enough for it, for sure. But the whole running, jumping, sport thing – I wouldn’t make it on the kindergarten team. Although im not horrible at the other sports. As far as swimming, I have managed to master splashing people in the face and not drowning. And I’m actually really good at basket ball – I think. That’s the one you take the oblong brown ball with the white stitches and hit it with a plastic yellow stick (a bar? A ban? A bat!) to see it go past the guy in front of the big basket in the grass, while your teammate smashed on of the other players into the plastic after jumping out from behind the wall, right?

    I bet you that 100% of the people that believe they’re good enough to compete in the Olympics with the true elite athletes also think that what I just said is actually an Olympic sport.

    They just need to resume their Monday night quarterbacking and not be asked any more questions. They might hurt themselves. 🙄

    Liked by 5 people

      1. No way. I’m a viewer not an athlete. I would say, every olympic athlete that has ever been judged unfairly gets to make the rules up. So Simone Biles would be there for sure. I forget her name, but there was one who everyone said was “too fat” to be Olympic level and she should be there with bells on. Apollo Ohno caught some grief too… so i say he should have a say as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, they are legitimately the best of the best of all athletes, and these people who “can compete in the Olympics” are the ones who yell the loudest when someone appears slightly heavier than her counterparts, is “ugly” because they’re too muscular, too skinny, not fast enough, destroyed the dreams of an entire country and single-handedly destroyed all patriotism because they were not OK to participate because they recognized that they were more likely to get seriously hurt then win a medal. Let these “amazing athletes” who has so much to say from their couches try to get the ACTUAL talent to see how amazing they are, and not judge them for being too fat in their leotards or complaining that picking a wedgie isn’t OK for their kids to see.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. My skills are talking, not drowning, and not knowing precisely what sport I described. I guess I would be a shoe in for the gold since no one else knows what I’m even talking about – least of all, me! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No…I would explain my “vision” to a group of very confused Olympic Athletes. They would have no idea what I’m talking about. Then I would say “it’s designed to test the strength and stamina of the couch potatoes that think that they can do what you can do. The rule book is very basic right now – 1) Only Olympic Athletes can change the rules once written. 1) Rule # 1 is non-negotiable. Other than that, it’s your game. Have at it!”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. She’s only slightly crazier than me, but you can’t expect anything less from Helena Bonham Carter! In my opinion she was the best character in TV or movies that have my name, and there are a few.

        A league of their own had a Marla in it. she was the “ugly” one, which I didn’t appreciate, but she was one of the best players which I did. She also sang completely off key which is another thing I loved about her.

        In the Original Star Trek there was a Marla but you never saw her. In Next Generation there was another Marla and she was some kind of super-scientist (which I loved because I’m SOOOO not that person). She had a face and a body to go with the name – but she was effectively a named “red shirt” as she died fifteen seconds into them “beaming down” to the planet. Voyager had one too – but she died in one of the episodes, I think it was during the few episodes they collectively called the year from hell. She wasn’t a main character – actually you never saw her. She just happened to be a member of the crew that died at some point and they all remembered her very fondly. So they jammed what was left into her into a torpedo shell and shot her into space (the only time the name was mentioned was when they were standing around the torpedo shell).

        So if I go by the movies and tv shows that I’ve seen, I’m an ugly crazy chick who can’t sing on key, but I’m smart as hell… and dead. Repeatedly, and almost always, dead, and almost always shot randomly into space to float for eternity away from everyone and everything I have ever known.

        And I only ever notice these things because A) It’s my name and B) it’s not very common – so it’s pretty easy to hear it even if I’m not listening for it or even watching the show myself. There was one time my ex was watching Fight Club – at that point I had never seen it. Someone said her name and I answered “yeah?” and he was like “what?” I was convinced he called my name (didn’t even dawn on me that it was a character in the movie). After a minor back and forth about him DEFINITELY saying my name he realized the character’s name was Marla. He told me he would watch it from the beginning with me. So I sat down and that’s how I saw Fight Club for the first time: completely convinced that my ex was messing with me LOL

        I will say overall, the only parts they got wrong is that I’m not so ugly that even a recruiter flinches after seeing I’m the best at what I do, and I’m not dead. Other than that, they’ve been spot on LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yep. It’s just strange because it is not a name you come across a lot. So even if it was a bad episode of Star Trek and I was falling asleep, I was suddenly sort of awake wondering who called my name as I was home alone. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thinking you are “fit” enough to play in a sport in the Olympics is a lot different question than whether you think you could qualify for the Olympics. That said, surveys have long shown that 90% of males will claim to be in the top 50% athletically. Of course we are delusional.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I was thinking the same thing, Geoff, in terms of exactly what the question was gtting at in terms of “fit enough”. Did it just refer to their fitness status, or if they were fit enough in terms of ability to compete against Olympic athletes? I think there is a better shot of people being in good enough shape as some Olympic atheltes, but they don’t have the skill set to compete. Even then, to be in the same shape as an Olympic athlete is a major accomplishment, and one I am sure less than 1 in 100 people can claim to be.

      I did try (not that hard) to find the original survey, but I was unable to do so before it was time for me to go nighty-night…


  4. I agree with the previous comment. If people interpret the question as a matter of fitness rather than talent, then many more will think they could compete at the Olympics in one sport. Of course they are fooling themselves even about fitness to compete in just about every sport. Off the top of my head, archery and shooting seem to be the Olympic sports that require only an average or below average level of physical fitness.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree, and I wish I could find the original survey; maybe I’ll look again today. Even if it is just fitness level, that’s why it was odd to list basketball and swimming as two of the sports people thought they were in good as good sa shape as the athletes. Once again, these two sports, unlike perhaps archery and shooting, that require an elite level skill set, but an elite level of fitness that most people could only dream about…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. People have a ridiculously high opinion of themselves, or they are just plain delusional. In a similar vein, in practically every high school sporting event I have ever attended, there are always a few blowhards in the stands or bleachers pontificating about what the coaches should be doing. Just because I flew in an airplane before doesn’t make me an expert at flying one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. good point about the coaching, but I will admit that I am guilty of thinking I could be the head coach in baseball at the pro level, as long as the assistant coaches are there to help with coaching the necessary skills… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We know someone whose grandson trained with our elite Olympic swimmers, but after the year of hearing about his progress he never made it to the Olympic team – he ended up leaving competitive swimming and catching up with real life. There must be many training and training for all kinds of sports, but only the few make it and certainly not forty per cent!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. another great example; your friend’s grandson was probably a phenomenal swimmer, probably in the top 1%, but even then, it is still a long shot to make it to the top of the sport…


      1. now you need to set up a regualr training schedule now so that you can hone these skills to Olympian levels…

        just avoid using a tech app to do so… 🙂


  7. I guess people don’t understand how many hours each day these olympic athletes train each year between the Olympics! And even that doesn’t guarantee they will get a medal. Takes more than just being fit, it means extra fit.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Such dedication has to be admired …not sure about Joe public though I think you are correct about the high opinion of some people though, Jim…You only need to watch some of the reality shows to see how that would pan out…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Don’t worry. I belong to the 60%. I know myself well enough to accept that when they say you can do anything if you put your mind to it, they weren’t talking about the Olympics, or me for that matter. So let’s see… swimming will get me wet, running will make me sweat, basketball I’m not that tall, hockey no skill at all.. I could go on and on… At least I can say I’m not delusional. Thank God for the little things 😄

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s