SUMMER OLYMPICS SPORTS, RANKED BY 'SUCCESS' IN MY PERSONAL, AMATEURISH ATTEMPTS TO PLAY THEM🏅

One of my favorite things about the Olympics is imagining how It would be like to compete based on personal experience playing the sports. I've tried at least 25 of the sports.... very poorly. Another Mini List History™💤 Also: unintentional #humblebrag
  1. 36.
    Rhythmic Gymnastics
    Never tried it and wouldn't want to. 😬
  2. 35.
    Shooting
    Never.
  3. 34.
    Taekwondo
    Never.
  4. 33.
    Judo
    Never.
  5. 32.
    Rugby Sevens
    Never.
  6. 31.
    Boxing.
    Never tried it. Got into one school bus-stop fistfight in fourth grade.
  7. 30.
    Equestrian
    I've been on horseback only three times in my life, twice during dude ranch style trail rides with my children, once as a child on a farm. Never dressage, obvi.
  8. 29.
    Team Handball
    Never, but I have always wanted to. I think I'd be a good player with the right skill sets. (I have same high opinion of myself re: Aussie Rules football.)
  9. 28.
    Modern Pentathlon
    Never as an event, but I have run and swam and fenced.
  10. 27.
    Cycling-BMX
    Never tried it. BMX bikes came around after I was a child. Looks fun!
  11. 26.
    Trampoline
    A few times as a child in someone's backyard, never competitively.
  12. 25.
    Wrestling
    A few times in PE classes, never competitively.
  13. 24.
    Weightlifting
    Never competitively, only gym-related strength training very occasionally.
  14. 23.
    Soccer
    Never played a game: America's youth soccer obsession came after my Little League childhood. I did coach my son's youth soccer team when he was 5.
  15. 22.
    Field Hockey
    Once, for a few weeks in a college PE class. Also, I was a member of a college intramural floor hockey championship team, which was similar but played indoors on a gym floor.
  16. 21.
    Gymnastics
    Junior high PE classes took us through all the events. I had a college PE course in gymnastics events, too. Too bad I'm weak AF (as the kids say).
  17. 20.
    Archery
    One of the few Boy Scouts merit badges I earned in my short 16 month career as a Tenderfoot was archery.
  18. 19.
    Rowing
    I also have a Boy Scout merit badge in rowing, a life skill I've only used three times since I was 12.
  19. 18.
    Diving
    Just recreationally. Never higher than a one-meter board. Note: I am the inventor of the Flying Squirrel dive, which my small children found immensely hilarious.
  20. 17.
    Fencing
    One, over eight weeks, in a city recreation class, with my then 10-year-old son. Was very fun.
  21. 16.
    Water Polo
    I took a summer PE water polo class in college and developed a profound respect for water polo players as authentic athletic beasts!
  22. 15.
    Basketball
    Played tons of backyard, schoolyard and playground hoops growing up. Played one season of CYA basketball, played (and dunked!) in my high school Seniors v Faculty game, and played on a winning co-ed 3-on-3 team in a workplace activities association tournament. I even got charged with a technical foul while keeping the book in a high school varsity game. But I was never on a team or played an official game.
  23. 14.
    Cycling-Track
    I've ridden several laps of the Balboa Park velodrome in San Diego, but never competitively. There's a new velodrome near my house and this may be one of those things I try competitively in the future.
  24. 13.
    Canoe
    I also have a Boy Scout canoeing merit badge. My transplanted Minnesota-to-California family always had a canoe while I was growing up but we rarely had pond or lake access.
  25. 12.
    Sailing
    My family also had sailboats when I was small, but I learned to sail a 12-foot catamaran in college around Mission Bay in San Diego. Haven't sailed for 30 years.
  26. 11.
    Tennis
    Never competitively although my friends and I went through a 24-month phase where we played several times a week and all got pretty good.
  27. 10.
    Volleyball
    I played several seasons of intramural volleyball in college and many games of pick-up walleyball. Another sport I think I would have been very good at in a different life, and if I was 5 inches taller.
  28. 9.
    Beach volleyball
    Played a lot of beach volleyball during two summers living in San Diego as a woman in our circle of friends played in competitive beach volleyball tournaments in mid 1980s. I was practice fodder for her.
  29. 8.
    Golf
    Played a lot of tournaments as a youth, placing on the podium twice, and played on my high school team for two years. Quit playing as an adult 13 years ago when I carded a 3-over par round through 15 holes, when darkness forced us off the course. I was smart enough to realize I would never have a better round so I retired on top. Of course back then, golf was not an Olympic sport...
  30. 7.
    Table Tennis
    A child prodigy, I lacked access to competitive club experience and competent coaching and had to settle for winning self-organized neighborhood basements tournaments.
  31. 6.
    Badminton
    I took a competitive badminton class in college and a former girlfriend was the California state junior college club champion in 1981. I was pretty good. Then we broke up and she kept the good racquets.
  32. 5.
    Swimming
    A lifelong swimmer, sometimes a regular lap swimmer, never competitively (although I went to many a meet to watch my sister race) I was a certified life guard and water safety instructor for several years. I did swim in open-water triathlons, several times a mile at a time.
  33. 4.
    Track & Field
    I ran hurdles and high jumped in junior and senior high, once qualifying for (and finishing last! 😀) in the 110 high hurdles in the league meet and a couple of times clearing 6-feet in high jump (vs age-group peers who could jump 6-3 or 6-4.) I also ran cross country in high school. I took a decathlon PE class in college so have tried all those events. Took a Theory of Track and Field Coaching class in college too, when I thought I might end up as a high school English teacher/track coach.
  34. 3.
    Cycling-Mountain Bike
    I have ridden thousands of miles since 1980 on my mountain bikes on single-track and roads in my lifetime as recently as last weekend, but I've never raced competitively. I have age-induced I'm-a-dad-now downhill fear-of-crashing so if I were to race, I would not be competitive. I have very fond memories of bombing downhill as younger fearless man tho'.
  35. 2.
    Cycling-Road
    I've ridden thousands of miles on my road bike, but never in a competitive race. Also, this is the sport I'm most likely to take up when I retire and have time to invest in serious old-man age-group races.
  36. 1.
    Triathlon
    I spent five years in and just after college training and competing in many short course triathlons. While I raced, I was never competitive. Pack fodder.