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Fun sports to spice up the Summer Olympics

Courtesy photo
The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling competition in England has attracted competitors from all over the world.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's that time again. You know, the one that happens every four years. Sometimes it is in North America, sometime Europe or maybe in Asia. It is accompanied by the heat of the summer as well as athletes from all over the world competing to bring the gold back to their country.

Yes, it's time for the 2012 Summer Olympics. London will be the grand stage for this exciting event, which kicks off Friday. (The opening ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. on NBC.)

The Olympics has more than 200 nations competing against each other in sports like fencing, wrestling, swimming, gymnastics, water polo and many more. Many events are games we've seen and/or played regularly. For instance, everyone knows about volleyball and basketball. But what about the lesser-known, crazier sports that exist? They deserve their chance to shine on the bright stage of the Olympics, too.

There are plenty of sports out there that I believe need to be added to the Olympic list. Here are just a few:

Underwater rugby: This should definitely be added to the list. It consists of 15-person teams, each with six players in the water at one time. Players wear snorkels and masks, and their uniforms must match. The ball is usually a little larger than softball and filled with salt water. During the game, players cannot tug, hold or pull on another player's swimsuit or it is a foul. Underwater rugby is extremely popular in Europe.

Underwater basket weaving: Sticking to the underwater theme, this event should be added to the list, too. Although it is often used negatively to describe useless college courses, underwater basket weaving actually exists. Many baskets are woven this way because it provides flexibility and makes the baskets easier to weave. This is an activity that takes skill and concentration.

Cheese rolling: This is a very popular event that has taken place for hundreds of years in Gloucestershire, England. Since the games are in London this year, it's a perfect fit. There are four races: one for women and three for men. In them, everyone chases after a wheel of cheese rolling down a hill, which can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. This competition can become quite dangerous, as the hill is extremely vertical; some participants have taken a serious tumble over the years.

Hot dog eating: Everyone knows what this is, so it might as well become an Olympic sport. Competitive eating has been around for nearly 100 years and is extremely popular, especially in America and Japan. Every year, thousands of people visit Coney Island in New York to see Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4. It is also televised on ESPN. Winners in such events can receive thousands of dollars. These are just a few silly sports that could be added to the Olympic roster. I believe some people would love to break tradition and add a few of these games just for the fun of it.


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