The New Olympics

Dominic Juranty, Journalist

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   The 2020 Summer Olympics are being hosted in Tokyo, Japan featuring five new or returning sports such as baseball/softball, karate, sports climbing, surfing, and skateboarding.

  The Olympics are notoriously old, and Jim Benagh from notes, “the earliest reliable date that recorded history gives for the first Olympics is 776 B.C., although virtually all historians presume that the Games began well before then.”

The famous Olympic Rings in Rio de Janeiro, Courtesy of Getty Images

 “The 18th Olympiad included wrestling and a pentathlon consisting of running, jumping, spear throwing (the javelin), discus throwing, and wrestling. Boxing was added at the 23rd, 1984, Olympiad.” Throughout the years, many events have been introduced and some removed.

  The introduction of these sports will add an extra 18 events and 474 athletes. The 2016 Summer games in Rio had 11,237 participants.

  In a survey done by Mindshare, a global media and marketing service company, out of 1,034 people asked, 75 percent said they would watch the Olympics and of the 75, 88 percent said they would watch gymnastics. According to Michael Strauss from, “men’s gymnastics was on the schedule of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and it has been on the Olympic agenda continually since 1924.” The games are celebrated every two years like it is a brand new tradition; millions are getting excited.

Bucky Lasek catching air in the X-Games, Courtesy of Getty Images

     Every year, skateboarding, BMX, and other extreme sports have their “own Olympics” called the X-Games, where participants compete for gold medals, silver medals, and bronze medals, much like the Olympic games.

  Sky Siljeg and Scott Starr from notes, “[in 1958,] the skateboard is made from roller skates attached to a board. This is really where it all starts. As surfing becomes more popular, skating becomes a way to surf when there are no waves—’sidewalk surfing.’” As the years go by, skateboarding, surfing, and many other various sports are changing for the better, new tricks being invented daily, new records being broken.

  The first baseball World Series took place in 1903, more than 100 years later the World Series is still going strong. America’s pastime became a demonstration sport in the Olympics in 1908 until 1988 and became an “official” sport in the 1992 Olympics.

  Mr. Read, science teacher at PVHS, was an alternate for the 1988 American Olympic team, where he practiced with the athletes in events such as the 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m relay, 1600m relay and long jump. He said, “I have competed in track and field since I was about 4-5 years old, setting many school and district as well as state records in Oregon.” Going to state every year of his high school career is an incredible achievement.

  Staying fit is of utmost importance to Read, and he has a competitive nature. He participated in nearly every school sport, and he enjoys swimming, skiing (snow and water), mountain biking, volleyball, and most racketball sports.

  He hails from Medford, Oregon, a small southern city in the Rogue Valley; also, he has lived in Utah and Alaska.

  The Olympics are relevant to most countries, displaying the dominance through athleticism of their people; likewise, many countries express their interests in the sports by earning multiple medals each year. The United States has accumulated 1,022 gold, 794 silver, and 704 bronze in 27 games. The Soviet Union/Russia trails winning 440 gold, 357 silver, and 325 bronze medals. Germany, in third place, has managed to earn a total 275 gold medals, 313 silver, and 349 bronze. Another global giant, China, is ranked seventh with 227 gold, 165 silver, and 151 bronze; a little more than one fourth of the United States’.

  The olympics are a big deal in America, and we take home the gold often. We pride ourselves on our athletic performances; likewise, athletics are a huge deal in most high schools/colleges.

  There are many talented athletes all over America. Mr. Read may not have fully participated in the Olympics, but it is definitely remarkable to be a backup.  Somehow, Mr. Read ended up in our small town of Pahrump, along with other talented athletes like Bryce Odegard, cross country state champion.