Oh bag it…I admit I’m an olympic addict. May as well embrace the reality and enjoy it because it’s another 4 years until the next one!
I’ve ALWAYS watched the olympics, both summer and winter. All of my kids were born in winter olympic years and take pride in their distinct locations.
In fact, I was pregnant with Summer, when we went to the Salt Lake City winter games in 2002! What an electric atmosphere. I still remember hairs standing up on my arms when Brooks and Dunn sang “Only in America” at the medal plaza. Spine tingling!
I’ve always wanted to attend the summer games, but just haven’t had the chance. So I got to thinking, why not have the summer olympics in Alaska!?!
Alaska? Sure, why not. Think about all the unique twists and venues a place 1/5th the size of the lower 48 could provide. Los Angeles makes a strong arguement, but come on, the scenery in Alaska alone warrants consideration! Here’s my case for persuasion.
Summer Olympics in Alaska
Heightened Competition: Man vs Wild
Imagine the world records that would fall running some of the events outdoors in Alaska.
Take track and field for instance. How fast do you think a sprinter could run the 100 yard dash if they were being chased by a moose at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.
Or what about holding golf at Bear Valley Golf Course in Kodiak. Talk about turning golf into an exciting spectator sport should someone have to go searching for a ball in the woods. Ratings would never be higher! Yelling “four” takes on a new meaning when the ball is going to hit a bear.
Then there’s swimming. Once again, records could fall in Resurrection Bay, as the swimmers in wetsuits look like stellar sea lions to the local packs of orcas. While salmon sharks in Prince William Sound will put the synchronized in synchronized swimming!
For badminton, we’ll provide mosquitos for birdies as they’re about the right size (warning, multiple birdies will be in play at the same time). Plus, Alaskans will all feel good about someone swatting them.
Finally, rowing. Put the boats in somewhere along the inside passage, maybe near Sitka during humpback whale migration. Score extra points avoiding a capsize due to a breach, roll, or lunge feeding. Really big score if you can stay afloat in the center of a bubble net!
Diverse Venues all around Alaska:
Since most of the summer olympics would be held outdoors in AK, here’s a few thoughts on different venue options.
Fairbanks could host a bunch of stuff! With daylight prevalent, events could take place 24 hours a day and save the countries money by condensing the games down to a week! For that matter, just pitch a bunch of tents or yurts and dig some outhouses for an off the grid olympic village.
For soccer fields, select anywhere on the tundra, maybe around Bethal or Nome. There’s some relatively flat areas, and when players fall, one may actually believe they got injured.
Imagine platform diving off the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau with an ever-changing podium. Some divers may not even have to jump at all. They could just ride the ice chunks down as they calved for a bonus degree of difficulty.
Beach volleyball could take place at Point Barrow where polar bears and possible snow would spice up the party in the stands. Too much snow? Just move it to the beaches along the Katmai or Kenai Peninsula (more bears).
The marathon on Mt. Marathon, gymnastics in the rain forests around Ketchikan (soft landing, lots of stumps and branches to swing on), and road biking during summer construction on any of the Alaska highways. Think the wipeouts in Rio were good, bike crashes here would be epic.
Heck, you could put the shooting ranges anywhere. The locals just may come out to participate and take the gold!
The Russians Could Swim Here:
Alaska has the answer to drug doping. Have the Russians (or anyone suspected of cheating) swim the 2.5 miles to Little Diomede. If they make it, they are probably drug positive, but we’ll test them there anyway.
Clean? Send them on to the games. Not clean? Send them back across the water to Russia, or corral them up until the ice freezes and they can walk back (more polar bears).
Unique Medals for the Summer Olympics:
And finally, Alaska will provide the ultimate tourist experience for the athletes as in true Alaskan fashion, they can be self sufficient and make their own medals (Micheal Phelps may be here all winter with his haul).
Gold medal: Start panning, there’s plenty of jewelry stores around that can custom make your medal.
Silver medal: Grab a fishing pole and head to Seward for the Silver Salmon Derby to get your silver. Score that this medal tastes really good when you bite it on the stand and you could win additional prizes!
Bronze: Head to the abandoned Kennecott Copper Mine near McCarthy and scrounge around for remnants.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I rest my case for having the summer olympics in Alaska. I think I’ve made a strong argument and there’s merit in the madness.
Of course this is all in good fun! Enjoy cheering on all the athletes. They really are amazing examples of perseverance, dedication, and perfection in their chosen sports.