The Jewish Olympics

by Stuart Spector

After reading through the list of this year's Olympic events, it was found that the Olympic Committee has made some significant changes. Some of the less-publicized events of particular interest to the world's Jewish communities, that you may have missed, may be the following:

Commonly referred to as the world's greatest athlete, this year's decathlete is actually a minyan of ten daveners. Each member of the group will begin davening with ten volumes of Mishnah on his back. Every minute, another volume will be added until a team member can no longer angle the body enough for a complete daven. While yeshiva buchers in Jerusalem are favored to win this event, other teams have promised not to bow down to the opposition - which could be a problem for this particular event.

Oyga Vault:
A sound-enhanced Pole Vault competition, the vaulter must clear the bar then yell "Oy" upon hitting the foam pad below. Any heights cleared without an "Oy" will be considered a fault. Points will be added for more enthusiastic exclamations of "Oy," such as "Oy vay iz mir!", "Oy, I've just landed on my shana punim!" or, the winner in the Olympic trials', "Oy, such tsuris this is causing me!"

Synchronized Swimming:
Taking place in an Olympic sized mikvah, this event is sure to make a splash. But what do these young ladies do once their act has finished?

Synchronized Tanning:
Following the Synchronized Swimming portion, swimmers will have ten minutes to sunbathe. Their routine must include at least two rollovers as well as application of sunscreen to the ears and nose. An SPF of 15 is the required minimum. Judges will award additional points to those able to tan with a higher SPF number. Points will be deducted for burns, blotches, and bikinis.

Team Handball:
The goal here is simple: to create the ideal matzah ball. Each team will cook a two liter bowl of matzah ball soup, from scratch. The three winning batches will be fed to the athletes recovering in the infirmary. The toughest matzah balls will be used in the shot put competition.

This year's Triathlon will involve one pound of shnitzel and a serving of tsimmes. The athlete must cook the shnitzel and tsimmes (first part), say a bruchah before eating this kosher meal (second part), and then run a marathon (third part). If the contender forgets to say the bruchah, he/she will be disqualified, but will still be required to run the marathon.

In addition to the aforementioned events, this year's Games will feature some experimental, non-medal competition:

Bagel Toss:
A kosher version of horseshoes, the winner is he/she that first lands a bagel on each of the seven branches of the chanukiah.

Balance Beam:
The accountant or bookkeeper that balances my mother's checkbook in the shortest amount of time will be declared winner.

Challah Chap:
How long does it take you to remove all the chometz from your house before Pesach? In this competition, each participant must rid a miniature shul of all of its challot, and replace them with matzot.

Dream Team:
This year's Dream Team will not consist of the USA's highly favored men's basketball team, but rather, an overpriced team of psychoanalysts that will have three, one hour office visits to analyze and interpret the dreams of this year's Olympic hopefuls.

Moyl Marathon:
Each certified moyl must run a marathon and perform a bris at each kilometer mark. This is the only event that allows alcohol - for the babies of course.

Naches Shlep:
Designed for bubbies and zaydehs, the proud grandparents will have two minutes to boast about their einiklach.

No longer part of men's gymnastics, this event now caters to newlyweds eager to show off the diamond rocks on their fourth fingers. The diamonds will be judged based on the "three c's," color, clarity, and cut. Contestants will be judged based on the "three s's": smile, sophistication, and simchas.

Shochet Slaughter:
Not for the weak of stomach or for animal rights activists, the shochet has twenty minutes to bless and slaughter as many cows as possible. The meat from the slaughter will be fed to the weight lifters and wrestlers.

Enjoy the Olympics in Atlanta. Remember, none of these events, (with the exception of the Torah reading), will be held on Shabbes. Some events may require the separation of men and women.

About the Author: A freelance writer living in Los Angeles, most of my articles have dealt with Jewish holidays, including Passover ("A '90's Style Seder" LA Jewish Journal, 1994), Chanukah ("Four Latkes and a Kugel" Las Vegas Israelite, 1995), and High Holidays ("High Holidays with Zade" Edmonton Jewish Life, 1995). I spent the last year in Israel, I love reading and writing Jewish humor, and my dream is to start a Jewish newspaper or magazine. Anybody interested in commenting on my article or helping me pursue my Jewish Journalism dreams can email me at

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