This Sport Should Be in the Olympics

I was once again listening to sports talk radio the other day, and the hosts were discussing what could be done to save the Olympics. Viewership is way down, and it doesn’t seem to carry the same excitement that it did 20 years ago.

I think there are a few things that could be done, and one is to eliminate sports that perhaps should not be in the Olympics (sorry, artistic swimming) and perhaps look for new ones.

Well, I just discovered a sport that is entertaining to watch and looks like it requires incredible athletic skill.

The name of the sport is Sepak Takraw, and it is a blend of volleyball and soccer. In fact, another name for the sport is kick volleyball.

Here is a description and other excerpts from Wikipedia:

Sepak Takraw is a team sport played with a rattan (synthetic plastic ball) between two teams of two to four players on a court resembling a badminton court. It shares similarities to volleyball and footvolley with its use of a rattan ball and allowing players to use only their feet, knees, shoulders, chest and head to touch the ball. At a first glance, Sepak Takraw appears to be a mixture of volleyball (since there is use of a net) and soccer (players use their feet).

In Myanmar, sepak takraw is known as “chinlone”. Chinlone has played a prominent role in Myanmar for about 1,500 years!

In the beginning, Sepak Takraw wasn’t meant to be a competitive game. Instead, it was a casual game with an emphasis on physical activity. The game acts as an exercise to improve dexterity and loosen the limbs after long periods of sitting, standing, or working. 

International play is now governed by ISTAF, the International Sepak Takraw Federation. Major competitions for the sport such as the ISTAF SuperSeries, the ISTAF World Cup, and the King’s Cup World Championships are held every year.

Sepak takraw is now a regular sport event in the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games, with Thailand having won the most medals for the event.

It seems like it’s time to spread this game to the rest of the world.

Here’s a brief video clip of a game in action; the athleticism is incredible.

If the TV show Wide World of Sports were still on today, this is the sort of sport that it would feature. I miss that show…

*image from Nikkei Asia

85 thoughts on “This Sport Should Be in the Olympics

  1. Incredible athleticism! I would watch this for sure. I have to imagine their careers would be short. Also, I wonder if they have a fourth member to substitute during the games.

    This was probably the least amount of the Olympics I’ve ever watched, though I prefer the Summer Olympics over the Winter Olympics.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it does seem like tht sport would take a toll on your body.

      and I was the same way, I watched very little of this year’s Olympics, but I am much more of a summer Olympics as well…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So basically no hand foot-volley ball. This will be interesting to watch because I can’t play either haha and it’ll be entertaining to see how high a person can jump with their legs in the sky to kick a ball. I’ve also never heard of artistic swimming. I only watched Olympics in the past for the athletics sports mostly running.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it does look like a challenging game. artistic swimming is what used to be known as synchronized swimming. My favorite sport to watch has always been swimming…


  3. I love this sport. The pace, the athleticism, the acrobatics are all smashingly entertaining. As usual, these professionals make it look easy, but I can assure you none of those skills are. I would be all for this replacing any number of other less athletic sports currently in the Olympics. Thanks for sharing, Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d watch this, it’s far better than things like gymnastics. But only if it didn’t have American commentators – sorry, but the guys on that video are enough to turn anyone off! The comparison with curling is pointless, too – different Olympics. I can’t see this game being played on ice or in snow. And anyway, removing curling would take out the only sport in which we won medals!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The word for them that came to my mind was ‘nauseating!’

        And as for curling, why not? The US had teams there, but I guess it needs loads of money and tv coverage thrown at it before interest rises. Either that or play it better 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe not, but I think it deserves its place as much as, say, equestrian events, where basically someone sits down and lets the horse do all the work. And take out curling and we have no medals!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the sportscaster’s blue language, when describing the game. That’s better than the Wide World of Sports. Just once I’d like to hear a football announcer holler some invectives when the visiting team gets a touchdown.

    What a crazy sport, though. I wonder how many players get accidentally kicked in the teeth by their teammates? I think you’d have to be made out of rubber to play this game without being injured.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. there are some amazing moves made by the players, and if you avoid getting kicked in the mouth, my guess is the ball might get kicked in your face on occasion. and it was fun to listen to those guys, but as you point out, I doubt if we would ever hear that on live TV…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Never heard of this sport but the thing that made me laugh was your dig for artistic swimming LOL i’m not a swimming nor do I have any ties to swimming but I felt that for the artful swimmers LOL but also true… I prefer the winter Olympics as well..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. there’s no doubt artisitic swimming takes a lot of practice, but so do ballet and playing a musical instrument. I don’t think I would want to see those two skills in the Olympics… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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