why napping isn't an olympic sport

August 24th, 2004

I think quite conceivably, many of us these days comfortably seated in front of the idiot box, watching the Olympics, feel that our side is not represented, none of the activities we participate in daily have found a place in the grandest sporting event known to man. There is no pie eating contests, no cross country shopping, no bar brawling. A large chunk of the population is sidelined, as far as their ambitions and dreams are concerned. I'm here to make the case for a wildly popular activity among the masses, I'm also here to explain why it never made the cut.

We're all very comfortable and familiar with sleep, it's often what gets us through the day when all else fails. Sleep is a healthy, wholesome activity in which we engage with enthusiasm. Given how often we practice it, everyone of us would be eligible for a tryout for the Olympics. But most impressive, no doubt, are those who can sleep through very long periods of time. I don't have the numbers on me but I imagine the official world record for sleeping at length is a very impressive one.

Thus the case is made, napping would be a natural addition to the highly acclaimed Olympiade. So why is it missing? Well, unfortunately the noble sport of napping has certain practical inconveniences. For instance, it requires very knowledgable and dedicated, not to mention enduring, commentators. Imagine a 34h napping event, how many cups of coffee, buckets of water and slaps in the face would that command? Quite a few. Secondly, the sport would require highly sophisticated equipment to determine a contestant's physical state. Faking sleep is, of course, very trivial. So it would require sensors for monitoring brain activity and the works. Hand in hand with blatant cheating goes the issue of doping. For an unrestricted event, the organizers could distribute sleeping pills and simply award the medal to the contestant who slept the longest but still woke up. Otherwise a lack of pulse would be awarded with disqualification.

So there it is, sports fans, the reason why our beloved sport will never be cheered on by the masses, why our athletes will never receive the glory their skills deserve.

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