If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: the Olympics suck ass. In six short years, my own city, Los Angeles, will play host to the games, likely repeating the disgraces of the 1984 games held here — giving cops more money to brutalize minority communities, ruthlessly sweeping the unhoused off the streets, increasing surveillance on citizens and turning a blind eye to a dramatic rise in the cost of living. Oh, and this time, it’ll be a financial disaster for the town itself.
But all that doom and gloom is in the future! For now, it is China’s turn to host a Winter Olympiad that feels oddly premature given that Japan had to postpone Tokyo’s 2020 summer games until 2021 because of the pandemic, meaning we’ve had all of a five-month break from pretending to be experts on sports like badminton and curling. Even for someone who doesn’t hate the Olympics, this is way too much Olympics. It’s not too late, however, for the corrupt committee that decides these things to add an event that makes me sit up and take attention: keg stands.
It’s high time we saw some competitive drinking at the highest levels. Still, we couldn’t have a regular old “shot for shot until one person collapses” showdown. Not only is it irresponsible, it’s not dynamic. There’s no physical test — aside from the challenge to your liver, I guess. Much better to go for a team sport, though flip cup and beer pong aren’t going to cut it, either. With keg stands, you get three-on-three matchups that measure the athletes’ drinking ability, coordination, strength, focus and endurance. If this pose isn’t a testament to human potential and excellence, then why do football players celebrate with it after scoring a touchdown?
Yes, I realize it’s too late for every country to hold qualifying trials in order to field a keg stand team for 2022. That just creates a greater opportunity: use the athletes who are already in Beijing for other games. What if you’re a snowboarder or luger who’s wrapped up the main events and ceremonies by day five? You’d still have two weeks more to kill, likely drinking and fucking your way around the Olympic Village anyway — it makes all the sense in the world to put your party prowess to the test in front of a massive audience. We’ll have clocks to time each stand to the millisecond, sensors inside the keg to determine the exact volume of beer consumption, and, what the hell, some judges to rate form, including mounts and dismounts.
By the way, you can use this idea during the winter and summer Olympics — set up on the side of a snowy mountain or in the middle of a track and field stadium. Get the gymnasts to do stands without anyone holding up their legs. Let each nation pick their preferred brew for chugging. Think the U.S. has a natural advantage? Don’t write off the Czech Republic.
I’ll say it: we deserve to see someone receive a gold medal while passed out drunk. In fact, nothing short of this possibility can persuade me to give a shit about the Olympics from this point forward. The games are a continuous mess — politically, economically and ethically — so at least one competition ought to reflect that. When I imagine a world in which I can drink a Coors Light with the face of a champion keg-stander on the can, my heart swells with pride.