The Newest Olympic Sport Is Among Us
Sports |  Source: sportingnews.com

The Newest Olympic Sport Is Among Us

3-on-3 basketball is here, and it could be awesome.

It's official! The International Olympic Committee has just announced that the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will include 3-on-3 basketball for both men and women.

Since team USA has dominated the competition in regular 5-on-5 basketball for many years with only one loss on their record, some people will not be as excited to see this new event. However, as dominant as team USA has been in this event, 3-on-3 basketball is a very different challenge.

The pace of the game is extremely fast with only 12 seconds to shoot each possession. Extreme focus and precision is essential when making decisions and taking shots due to the quick turnaround that one mistake can cost a team. The high stakes and rapid pace of the game should have spectators on their on the edge of their seats during every possession.

To spice things up even more, team USA will also need to get used to the FIBA rules. Besides the ball being slightly smaller than the NBA ball, the biggest difference in these rules is that once the ball hits the rim, anyone is free to swat the ball off. In the NBA, this would be considered goaltending and would give the offense the basket. However, FIBA rules allow this to be a major part of the game. This adds an extra element that NBA fans are not used to seeing and could be very fascinating to watch.

An interesting entity to think about is who would possibly play in this 3-on-3 competition. There are a multitude of potential very exciting trios that could be extremely fascinating to watch.

Would LeBron James team up with some of his super friends Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony for a chance to finally play together? Would former teammates Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kevin Durant join forces again to see what could've been? Could we possibly see two of the best ball handlers in Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry team up, or best defenders Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green join forces. The options here are limitless.

However, LeBron James was recently asked about playing in this competition and he didn't seem to personally have an interest. He was quoted saying, "I'm not very good at the 3-on-3 thing" and "I'm more of a 5-on-5 guy." This could be the mindset of other NBA stars but for right now we will just have to wait and see. The Tokyo games are a couple years away, so everyone has ample time to think this through.

Retired NBA players might even decide to join the fun. They could actually be slightly more likely to represent Team USA than NBA players. Former players such as Allen Iverson, Stephen Jackson, Jason Williams, with many more, are all competing in a 3-on-3 competition this summer put together by Ice Cube called The Big3.

These same players may very well likely be the ones available when it's time for the Olympics. As of right now, the Big3 league is noncommittal on this subject. They did however put out a statement supporting the new Olympic sport saying "This decision reconfirms our gut instinct that 3-on-3 basketball is what sports and entertainment fans want to see."

Whether it is current or former NBA players representing the U.S. for 3-on-3 basketball in 2020, the games will be widely successful. This type of pickup style basketball is something that many fans can relate to, and now they can watch the greatest athletes in the world play in this unique setting.

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Sports |  Source: youtube.com

Modern Pentathlon is the World's Weirdest Olympic Sport

How is it even in the games?

If you're not familiar with the Summer Olympics, you might think that it's just a super long, spring-break like excursion for privileged college students to hang out, drink some dirty water, and worry about contracting the Zika virus.

Yes, with all of the (well-deserved) negative hype surrounding Rio De Janiero, it's easy to forget that the Olympics is actually a global sporting event.

Not a 485 square mile cesspool.

And while everybody knows about Olympic basketball and Olympic swimming, there are a ton of other interesting sports that fly under the radar every year.

Synchronised swimming (Yep, that's still a thing); Golf (as if we really needed more golf); or, my favorite, Equestrian (because nothing screams sports more than making a horse jump over things).

Woah.

But in the kingdom of bizarre olympic events that probably shouldn't exist, one event reigns supreme:

The Modern Pentathlon.

Now, before I go forward, try to guess what events the Modern Pentathlon entails. For those of you who slept through math class, here's a hint: there are five of them.

Got it?

OK, well if you guessed fencing, swimming, horseback riding, running, and pistol shooting, than congratulations! You've clearly heard of the event before. Cheaters!

First things first, we need to raise an important question: Who the fuck knows how to do all five of those things?

Apparently, a decent amount of people considering that a combined 72 athletes competed in the event in 2012 and the event has been happening since 1912. And if you think finding someone who can actually compete in this event might be crazy, you should see how the event is laid out.

So let's step into the shoes of these athletes for a little while.

First, it's time to fence. And we're not talking about just one or two fencing matches. Try 35 of them, because you have to compete against every other athlete in the event. Not to mention it's composed of essentially 35 sudden death matches.

You get poked, you lose. Once you're done getting poked and prodded by some stranger that probably doesn't even speak your language, you get to take the rest of the day off.

The next day, you move on to the rest of the four events, starting with a nice, relaxing swim. More specifically, a 200m freestyle race.

Pretty self-explanatory, right?

Well, then things get a little iffy.

Because just when you thought we were done with the whole fencing thing, guess what?

IT'S BACK!

Yes, that's right: a bonus round of fencing where players actually get the chance to improve their original rankings. Makes sense, given the wildly unpredictable nature of fencing.

But let's forget about fencing for the moment and move onto the exciting part: horse riding. Uh... Not really sure what to say here. A bunch of adults ride around on some horses, and if your horse runs into the least things, then you get the most points.

Athleticism!

So now without further ado, I introduce to you the final 40 percent of the strangest olympic event ever invented: combined running and shooting.

Now, taken for face value, this doesn't sound that strange. As a matter of fact, a lot of "athlon" events have some kind of cross country/shooting dynamic that makes them unique. Hell, in the Winter Olympics they have an event that only consists of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, called the Biathlon.

However, while the running is pretty much what you'd expect (how can you really corrupt a simple 3200 meter run?) the pistol shooting part is...how do I put this? Digital. Because that's literally what it is. Freaking digital. No bullets. No loud bangs. No pistols, even.

You just stand there with a bunch of ironman athletes, and fire plastic laser guns at a digital target like a bunch of nine year olds at a boardwalk arcade.

Take a look at this video. Because the Olympics are dumb, we can't embed it for you, so go right to the 2:10 mark and start taking it all in. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

What a fitting end to such a, frankly, stupid event. If that's what the greatest sporting event in the world has come to then why not save some money altogether and just have them play a round of Big Buck Hunter every 800 meters?

So this August, sit back, relax and enjoy what I can only imagine are your five favorite sports all rolled into one.

Or just watch basketball like everyone else.

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Sports |  Source: omahasports.org

Reasons You Should Be Watching the US Swim Trials

The Super Bowl of swimming is back.

While there's already a pretty extensive list of Sports events to watch this week, one that isn't getting nearly enough coverage - and one that you should be ridiculously excited about - is the US Olympic Swim Trials.

I get that swimming is not that popular, and not that fun to watch. Wait scratch that, I don't get it at all. The fact 200,000 tickets were sold for this week long event was no accident. As described by Gold Medalist Conor Dwyer, the Trials at Omaha are, "the Super Bowl of Swimming," making it incredibly fun to watch. Don't believe me? Here are some reasons that should convince you to turn on that livestream.

It's more competitive than the Olympics.
Sounds crazy, I know. But it's a known fact that the US is dominant in swimming. Since the start of the modern Olympics, we've taken home 520 medals in swimming- 342 more than Australia, the second closest. Over 1,600 people qualified to swim at Trials, but only the two fastest people in each event qualify for Rio. We're talking about finishes that are within hundredths of a second of each other. Even if you made a faster time and broke a record earlier in the year, it doesn't matter. All that matters is how you perform this week. Talk about pressure.

There's history in the making.
Michael Phelps has been my idol since elementary school, and I always knew he'd be back to compete for Rio. He's already the most decorated Olympic athlete in the world with a whopping 22 medals and counting. But he's not the only one trying to make history.

Natalie Coughlin is currently in a three-way tie for most decorated female athlete with 12 medals, and if she qualifies she'll have a change to get that 13th. And we can't forget about Katie Ledecky - who with 11 world records to her name has a chance of taking home five medals this Olympics - more than any woman at one Olympics.

The events are short (aka, more exciting).
If you were to watch every single heat of every race, yes, swimming is a complete drag. But when you get past the prelims and onto the finals - the maximum any event lasts is around 16 minutes (the 1500m). Otherwise, most events are under two minutes, even as short as 22 seconds!! That means minimal time commitment and a guaranteed edge-of-your-seat race till the finish.

There are upsets galore.
While there are definitely the "favorites" out there, there have already been upsets this Trials because it is that competitive. Ryan Lochte, who won the 400 IM at Beijing, just missed a spot and finished third in the event behind two of his teammates. He still gave an incredible performance considering he pulled his groin during prelims, but there are no sympathy cards here. Just goes to show it's any swimmer's race.

The hometown heroes.
The area I grew up in lives and breathes swimming and I can proudly say I swam with some of the current serious contenders (hello, Katie Ledecky, Jack Conger) and am friends with some of the not-so-serious contenders who also qualified to swim. Chances are if you had a decent swim program at your school, you know someone swimming too. Even if they don't make the Olympics, just knowing they're sharing a lane and competing with some of the greats is pretty amazing.

It's just plain pretty.
One of my favorite things about swimming is seeing the stylistic differences between each swimmer's strokes. Watching butterfly in particular is miraculous - they make it look effortless, but don't let that fool you. Each of these swimmers is putting in four-plus hours a day. With that kind of dedication, they deserve some mad respect. Why not watch and enjoy?

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Sports |  Source: clutchpoints.com

You Should Be Excited for the Olympics

Get behind your country's athletes.

Every day is a good day to be excited about living in the United States. But every two years, that nationalism multiplies. Since this is a presidential election year, and also a Summer Olympics year, everyone should be thrilled.

The 2016 Summer Olympics are set to begin on August 5 and conclude on August 21. So for those two weeks, red, white and blue are expected to dominate worldwide athletic competition as they have done in the past. Not to go through every year, but the US clearly won the last Olympics which has to be a reason why they are worth watching.

No, baseball and football, two American staples, are not in the Olympics. But for those who like traditional sports, basketball is big. And the US is obviously the favorite.

Sure, it is nice to see the country do well in basketball. But the Olympics is a time to watch sports you would never remotely consider watching any other time of the year - mostly because they are hardly ever on TV.

The list of sports is seemingly endless which means there will be plenty of cool and unique events. In that sense, the Olympics could not be any more clutch. It comes at a time of year when there is no diversity in the sports you can watch on TV every day (pretty much only baseball). Even baseball fans want to see something else sometimes.

When else can you go from watching table tennis to fencing to water polo? And the Summer Olympics only comes up once every four years, so it is best to just seize the moment.

Jerry Springer and Judge Judy are still going to be on during the day no matter the time of year. The same cannot be said for the Olympics.

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Sports |  Source: usab.com

Grading the USA Olympic Basketball Team

They're no Dream Team, but they'll be good.

The announcement of the U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Team reminds me of getting a C on a midterm. Good enough, am I right? There is no doubt that the roster has taken a step back from the Kobe, LeBron, and CP3-led gold medal winning team back in the 2012 London Games.

At least half of the players on this new roster seem to be Plan B, since several other major players want to spend the summer resting (LeBron James, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden) or are recovering from an injury (Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, and Stephen Curry).

Let's be honest: You could make a team of the players not going that would probably beat the team we are sending. You can't beat the veteran presence of Kobe Bryant, Andre Iguodala, and even Jason Kidd, if you want to go back to the '08 Beijing Games, especially since they are replaced with a team of young stars with only two past gold medalists in Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.

On the offensive side of the ball, the team is set up with enough scorers to break any and every U.S. points and scoring records. With players like Klay Thompson, Carmelo, Durant, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kyrie Irving, putting the ball in the basket will not be a problem.

But the key to the offense will be the use of Draymond Green and how they use him. Seeing that Irving and Kyle Lowry aren't pass first pointguards like Jason Kidd or Chris Paul, it would be best for the team to run their offense through Green, similar to his role in Golden State.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jimmy Butler and the Warriors trio of Draymond, Thompson, and Harrison Barnes provide more than enough force for any guards and forwards, while DeAndre Jordan will send back anything in his general direction.

While the team is set up with a great balance of players that can do a lot of everything well, and will likely win a gold medal, this is not the best team we have sent to an Olympics.

Then again, we have to remember something: The 2000 U.S. team wasn't exactly a powerhouse, but still won gold. When we lost in 2004, many of our best players at the time like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Jason Kidd, and Tracy McGrady didn't play. It gave the best players incentive to participate in 2008.

After repeating in 2012, the U.S. made it clear they are the kings of the hardwood. Barring another upset, I expect a good number of players to sit out the Olympics until that day when we lose again. Until then, don't expect 1992 to walk through that door.

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Sports |  Source: @adamkuylenstierna

What College Edition Olympic Sport Would You Compete In? (Quiz)

Being a college student should be an Olympic sport.

Being able to flip like Gabby Douglas or swim like Michael Phelps seems impossible, but being a college student takes just as much skill and practice. We just compete in different events. Take this quiz to see what college style Olympic event you would compete in and win gold.