The 2012 Summer Olympics, with all of its pageantry and intense competition, runs the gamut featuring “26 sports and a total of 39 disciplines,” according to Wikipedia. But we feel that the Olympic Committee has left a few important garden-related sporting events out of the competition this year. Perhaps we’ll see one of these Top 5 Gardening Events at the Olympics next time in Rio:
1) 100 Meter Weed Pull
Contestants line up at the starting block at one end of a hundred-foot field pathway. Armed with only gloves and a sun hat (no tools are permitted by Olympic Committee rules), athletes must race against time and other competitors to clear the pathway of weeds. Contestants must cross the finish line after depositing their bag of weeds into an Olympic-sized compost bin. Judging is based on time of completion, and deductions are taken for each weed left behind.
2) Synchronized Compost Pile Turning
Olympic hopefuls band together in duos to compete for gold – black gold, that is. Athletes are required to move a steaming pile of garden biomass from Bin A to Bin B in perfect synchronicity. Regulation digging forks bearing each country’s insignia are used to transition the piles, and contestants are judged on grace, speed and technique. Points are deducted for forehead-wiping, but grunting is allowed.
3) Speed Shucking
It’s an intense event, one that requires complete concentration. Athletes are stationed in front of three bushels of corn, freshly harvested that morning from a nearby regulation organic Olympic farm (GMO corn is not permitted in these Games). At the gun, contestants must bend to reach into the bushel, and return to a full standing position with one ear of corn. They have only seconds to denude the corn of its husk and silks, then place the shucked corn into an awaiting empty bushel. Judging is based on completed bushels of corn, and points are deducted for partially shucked ears.
4) Trellis Climb
This grueling race is not for the faint of heart. Contestants are required to scale the Olympic-sized redwood garden trellis (which stretches over 30 feet into open air) while coiling long vines of legume crops around the trellis as they ascend. Garden twine is not permitted. Timing is everything in this sport, but deductions are taken if a vine comes loose. It takes a well-trained athlete with pin-point concentration to complete this race successfully.
5) Digging Fork Throw
event bears a striking resemblance to the javelin throw, but is
performed with a little more artistry. Digging forks, being naturally
weighted toward the front, are thrown into the air with two hands at a
higher angle. Athletes are expected to launch the digging fork into the
air so that it performs a loop before landing, tines first, within a
specifically marked landing area on the field. Contestants train for
years to accomplish what looks like an effortless task. Missing the
landing ring, or failing to “stick it”, pulls a contestant out of the
What other garden-related sporting events should be at the Rio Olympics in 2016? Share your suggestions here.