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7 Suggestions for New Events at the Next Winter Olympics

showalter_croppedThe Vancouver Olympics are over and it's time to look ahead to Russia 2014. Considering the record snowfall many of us have had to put up with this year, I think the Olympics Committee should consider some new events:

1. "Mixed Pairs Shoveling the Car Out of the Snow Sprint" -- In this event, couples are given a shovel, an ice scraper, a parked car and 3 feet of snow. The first team to get their car out of a parking space and drive to work on time wins. Using your arms to push the snow off the hood of the car is legal, but any team caught cursing the snow or paying a next-door neighbor's son to help them shovel is disqualified immediately.

2. "Combined Cross-Country Trudging Through the Snow to Run Errands and Help Their Kids Make A Snow Fort" -- Olympians must trudge a half-mile through the snow to pick up the dry cleaning. Athletes may wear only standard rubber galoshes or work boots; no snowshoes or walking sticks are allowed. Anyone caught accepting a ride from a passer-by with a four-wheel drive will be disqualified. After picking up the dry cleaning, competitors must return home, hang up the dry cleaning, then go out to the front yard and help the kids with their snow fort. Strategies include deciding whether to eat a snack when you get home or going directly outside to get it over with.

3. "Team Snowball Fight" -- Each country assembles a team of its five most tireless, vicious and aggressive snowball fighters. Most countries will find themselves with teams of teenage boys. The Team Snowball Fight will take place in the middle of a crowded street. Extra points are given for hitting opponents in the face, knocking an opponent over or catching a snowball and throwing it back without crushing it. Judges will give demerits for hitting innocent bystanders or passing cars -- and double demerits and possible disqualification if either team hits an old lady.

4. "Team Pursuit Forcing Your Kids to Wear a Scarf Relay" -- In this event, parents try to persuade their children to wear a scarf to "keep their necks warm." Success will depend entirely on how well behaved and eager to please the children are. Popular tactics include telling your children that if they don't wear a scarf they'll "catch a cold" or, worse, "get the flu." After one child has successfully been forced to wear a scarf, competitors move on the next.

5. "Men's Combined Checking the Weather Report and Looking Outside to See if it's Started Snowing Yet Slalom" -- The winner in this event is the man who can check the weather report and look outside to see "if it has begun snowing yet" the most number of times in a two-hour period. Competitors may use all sources of information: Internet, TV, radio or almanac. Extra points are given for checking more than one source simultaneously.

6. "The 30K Drag Your Child Through the Slush on a Sled at 7 a.m. Run" -- Each athlete will be given one sled, one child and 30 kilometers of slush. Great physical and mental stamina are required for this grueling event. Strategy includes talking to friends on your cell phone, drinking from a thermos filled with coffee to stay awake and occasionally trying to see if your dog is capable of dragging the sled while you take a breather.

7. "Outdoor Freestyle Taking Pictures of How Much Snow There is Medley" -- Competitors are given a digital camera and 30 minutes to go outside and document how much snow has fallen. After the pictures have been taken, players e-mail the images to friends and relatives with captions like, "Can you believe this?" "The Abominable Snowman!" and "Ugh!"

(Michael Showalter is the guy behind the hit comedy film "Wet Hot American Summer," as well as "The Michael Showalter Showalter" and numerous comedy productions.)

COPYRIGHT © 2010 MICHAEL SHOWALTER DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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