Pets Are Athletes, Too: The Case for Dog Competitions at the OlympicsPublished July 23, 2012
I am appalled by the discrimination against dogs. Once again, they have been excluded from the Olympic games. Dogs love games and tend to excel at them. If we hurry there is still time to get our canine cuties into the 2012 Olympics in London. Surely we can persuade the public to fight this blatant breach of dogs’ civil rights.
Dock Diving vs Platform Diving
- In Dock diving dogs compete by plunging into a body of water for a pre-determined number of dives while adhering to specified distance requirements and scored by where nose and tail meet water. Okay, so in simpler terms, dog dives look like jumps and yes, dogs are less graceful than say, Greg Louganis, but remember, post gold medal Louganis switched to dog agility competitions. ’Nuff said.
- Platform diving rules are similar—humans dive into H2O a specified number of times and scores are calculated by factors including required distance, level of splash and position of body as it hits water. How is that so different than scoring dogs based on position of nose or tail at time of submersion?
Agility vs Steeplechase
- In Agility competitions, dogs race through an obstacle course. Canines are judged on their speed and precision. The obstacles range in height and level of difficulty. Dogs run off-leash and are not given food or toys as incentives.
- Steeplechase for the humans is—you guessed it—an obstacle race. Barriers (ahem, just another word for obstacles) are positioned along the course and athletes perform sans food incentives.
Flyball vs Hurdles
- Flyball is a team sport for doggies. There’s a starting line at the course. Dogs jump over hurdles and run along a track until they cross the finish line.
- Hurdles for humans are similar—athletes must jump over hurdles of varying heights. The hurdle in the highest position is called a “high” hurdle (duh). The next highest is called a “high school high” which may confuse people who remember a different kind of high from high school. Anyway, the point is, athletes compete by traversing over barriers and racing along a path to a finish line.
Disc Dog vs Gymnastics
- Disc dog is a generic name for Frisbee dog. It’s a sport of choreographed freestyle fetching. Dogs are awarded points for skill and style as they leap into the air and catch a tossed Frisbee. In a category referred to as Dynamic Freestyle, dog routines are performed to music.
- Gymnastics is like Frisbee dog in that it’s a sport judged by agility, flexibility and coordination. Floor Exercise gymnasts perform a choreographed routine set to music. The only major difference is Olympic athletes aren’t required to catch anything with their teeth.
In order to get an accurate head count, please leave a response here whether you are pro or con dogs competing at the 2012 Olympics.