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Sports that rock, and ones that bore

Following are the list of Olympic sports I enjoy watching and ones that leave me nodding off or changing the channel. I would love to hear from others on what moves them or bores them.

This list is not a commentary on the athletic skills or talents involved in the sport, but rather how I see them as a spectator and not an insider of the sport:


  • Dressage: Apologies to Patricia Nell Warren, but watching a man or woman on a horse trotting around an arena is a better sleep aid than Ambien; even the horses looked bored. The jumping competition at least has a bit of excitement.
  • Fencing: It happens way too fast for a novice to appreciate what is happening. I watched a gold medal match (or tried to) and had no idea who was scoring points and why. Best viewed in super-slo-mo.
  • Beach volleyball: Face it, NBC obsesses over this simply because the women play in bikinis and show major T&A. As a sport it is serve, setup, return, repeat. Yawn. The indoor game is much more enjoyable to watch.
  • Synchronized swimming: Every time I see it I only think of the classic SNL skit that lampooned it. I can't see how anyone outside of immediate family can be entertained by such a contrived sport.


  • Weightlifting: A simple concept with tons of drama -- can the athlete lift that incredible weight over his or her head? The athletes are animated (as is their entourage) and the emotions are raw and real. Wish I saw more of it.
  • Anything with a race: A swimming or track or road race is also easy to grasp and follow. I watched the road cycling and the weather (it rained on the women) and course made it compelling. The only swim race that bores is the 1,500 meters because it takes too long.
  • Water polo: Four, eight-minute quarters with nonstop action. And the guys are smoking hot.
  • Rowing/canoe: These are dramatic events with great visuals. One of my Olympic must-sees.

Not that I have had my say, feel free to suggest your own list.