Stick the plumper in goal. Chuck ball at head. Repeat.
Rating: send for Fatty Foulke.
20: Sport Climbing
A new entry this time: these people are really good at getting up things quickly. Sport is surely crying out for a backstory/scandal about a medal winner being a reformed cat burglar. One of several Olympic sports (boxing, shooting, synchronised finger-smithing) where a criminal past would be a great preparation.
Rating: not one for the acrophobic.
19: Trampoline gymnastics
Bringing the leisure centre to the international sporting stage. Trampoline is a fun and wholesome activity for all age groups and, a bit like its Winter Olympics spirit animal luge, looks like it could just happen to you rather than you having to actively do it.
Rating: meaty, beaty, big and bouncy.
18: Beach volleyball
Other volleyball’s cooler cousin. A sport anyone can have a go at if they’ve got a ball, a bathing costume, and a beach.
Rating: most dramatic sand-based spectacle since Lawrence of Arabia.
17: Road cycling
Not as good as the Tour de France, but Britain is always in with a shout.
Rating: giant pile-up always a possible.
Surfing finally gets a chance at the Olympics. Reliant on getting decent waves. Hoping for some excellent “woah dude” post-event interviews with the competitors.
Grapplin’! And not the kind where drugged up 300 pound actors hit each other with folding chairs. Hard, oiled men from Kazakhstan holding each other down until one of them begs for mercy. One of those sports where you’re just really glad to be watching from thousands of miles away.
Rating: specialist interest.
14: Table tennis
Quite rare Olympic sport in that most people have had a go at some time, possibly on a camp site, possibly in a youth club. Makes you appreciate how amazing Olympians are at things, a sense of connection that you don’t get with, say, pole vault.
Rating: the most 1970s sport on offer. Strong orange squash and Wagon Wheel vibes.
Gloriously vivid royal blue pitch can give you the impression that you are watching Premier League Years during an acid flashback, Great Britain seem good at it, it’s enough like football that you can pick up the ebb and flow. Epic face masks.
Rating: where were the Germans, but frankly who cares?
Almost every article or TV feature at rowing seems defensively quick to claim that “it’s not just posh people at Oxbridge, you know, ahahaha”. Whatever you say, your grace. Actually televises quite well because it scrolls horizontally like an old fashioned Daley Thompson Decathlon game.
Rating: which one’s Cambridge?
Most of us have done it, and these people do it without being shouted at by a sadistic games teacher, being made to pick up a brick, or getting a verruca. You could argue there are too many events: if you fell out of a boat, you wouldn’t really care if you got to the life raft via doggy paddle or like a frog, would you?
Rating: Enjoy an incredibly hot drink in a tiny beige cup from the vending machine afterwards.