Aug 02, 2012|
It’s high time the Olympics add more sports we Thais are actually good at so we can get all the gold medals we deserve. Of course, the obvious choices would be takraw and muay Thai, but those aren’t the only high-level competitive sports Thailand excels at—some of which originated abroad and quickly caught on in the kingdom—and need to be included at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Dodge ball may be the quintessential all-American geek/loser/nerd sport, but it also happens to be something of a Siamese specialty. Abhisit is dodging allegations he presented fake documents to dodge military conscription. Suthep must dodge a five-year ban for dodgy stuff he did under the previous government. And our top cop is dodging calls to resign for meeting a dodgy convicted fugitive abroad. Dodging just comes naturally to us.
Skating on Thin Ice
Despite our tropical weather, we have some great champions in this technical and artistic event. Judged by a panel of constitutional court cronies, this little-known sport rewards grace, lightness of step, and the ability to scurry back and forth rapidly. Chalerm is the reigning champion, pushing his constitutional bill forward discreetly, then pirouetting effortlessly, backpedaling, making an about-face and landing back on his toes. Yingluck isn’t bad either, and she can pull it off in both boots and high heels, for added style points.
Perhaps better known as sleight of hand or prestidigitation (“quick fingers”), it’s a set of techniques used to manipulate objects secretly so that they seem to disappear. It requires very fast reflexes and great hand-eye coordination, a bit like ping pong. Our police forces are highly-trained practitioners, with some officers capable of making hundreds of folded B100 bills and liters of whiskey disappear in a single afternoon. Legend has it the army has the most highly skilled athletes in Thailand, though, some of whom are capable of making people, or even complete concepts (like democracy), disappear in an instant.
So don’t forget to join the “I Heart New Thai Sports at the Olympics” Facebook page!