Might-Have-Been | Newberry


Oh, I had such plans for the 2016 Chicago Olympics! Think of all the categories I could have developed tie-ins for! Sports, Travel, Foreign Language: those are way too easy. But we could have had Olympics promotions in:

Romance: The possibilities are really endless.  We speak of “carrying a torch” for someone.  What’s the goal of the heroine in many romances?  A ring.  And what is the symbol of the Olympics?  Five rings.  It would’ve been a natural.

Math: for people trying to figure out the scoring system

Political Science: for people trying to figure out the judging system

Dance: for people trying to figure out synchronized swimming

Humor: for people who can’t be bothered trying to figure out synchronized swimming

Health: for watchers trying to figure out how those swimmers can consume that many calories and still fit into those swimsuits

Architecture: for watchers trying to figure out those swimsuits

Westerns: for visitors who think anything west of New York is the Lawless Frontier

Law and Crime: for visitors who know nothing about Chicago beyond Al Capone

Show Biz: for visitors who know no more about Chicago than Oprah Winfrey (and maybe the Blues Brothers)

Records: Nah: all these people are trying to break records

Reference: But we can do a lot with all those Guinness Books of World Records

Poetry: In Motion, for people watching the Gymnastics

Mystery and Science Fiction: because I need something to read while trying not to watch the Gymnastics (They’re going to fall, I KNOW they’re going to fall, don’t make me watch)

Military History: In honor of the only gold medalist I know personally, who recalls arguing with a Japanese opponent in 1960, each insisting that the other was number one in the world. It hit him that less than 20 years earlier, his father and this man’s father were probably shooting at each other.  And he thought “The Olympics are really a more sensible way to do it.”

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