Tag Archives: Olympics

Arrow Polo Is Blacktip Island’s New Olympic Sport

archery meets water polo

Blacktip Island water polo players will face new challenges with the inclusion of shore-based archers in their matches. (photo courtesy of Vinny Abalone)

A group of Blacktip Island sports enthusiasts has combined elements of water polo and archery to create a new sport, which it hopes to introduce to the world in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“We were bored silly watching the Olympics and reckoned we could combine two of the dullest sports to create something actually worth watching,” Vinny Abalone said. “Arrows flying amongst the swimmers really gets the blood pumping. And flowing. We’re calling it ‘arrow polo,’ but we’re open to other suggestions.

“Basically, archers on land shoot arrows at the ball during water polo matches,” Abalone said. “The goal is to hit the ball as many times as possible. You get extra points if you shoot the ball whilst it’s in the air. You lose points if you hit a swimmer, though—it’s a sliding scale, ranging from minus one point for a pierced hand, to minus three for a torso hit, and minus five for a full-on head shot.”

Polo players say the sport presents new challenges.

“Before, the biggest danger was an opposing player dunking you. Now it’s being impaled,” Rosie Blenny said. “Straight away, we all grabbed helmets and body armor. It slows you down, but it also makes you a stronger swimmer. If you survive.

“We also banned broadhead arrows,” Blenny said. “Sure, they made things more exciting for the spectators, but it’s bad for the sport if you have players bleeding out in the pool. We also installed screens so the wind wouldn’t throw the arrows off by too much.”

Some in the community expect the sport to be short lived.

“It’s a Blacktip cliche: get bored, create a new activity, then everyone gets tired of it after a month or two,” Frank Maples said. “Long term, Vinny and his lot are angling for a free trip to Paris. More power to them, if they can stay focused for three years. And live through it. Stanger things have happened.”

Abalone said the group is refining the sport as they go.

“There was loads of blood in the water last practice, so we need to sort out how to factor that in,” he said. “We discussed using blunt-tipped arrows that wouldn’t puncture the balls or anyone’s skin, but that ran counter to the spirit of the sport.

“Instead, we decided to add sharks to the game,” he said. “It’s a small pool, so the thrashing should really add to the excitement.”

Leave a comment

Filed under best scuba diving novels, Caribbean, Scuba Diving

Cancelled Olympics Sideline Blacktip Island’s Beer Pong Team

beer pong

Members of Blacktip Island’s Olympic beer pong team practice Tuesday night prior to learning they would not compete this summer due to the Tokyo Olympics being cancelled. (photo courtesy of Peachy Bottoms)

The Blacktip Island Olympic beer pong team’s hopes of glory were crushed Wednesday by the International Olympic Committee’s decision to cancel the 2020 Summer Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a team spokesperson said.

“We’re gutted right now and, frankly, in a bit of denial,” coach Peachy Bottoms said. “We’ve been training so hard. We were favored to win team and individual medals. Now all that hard work’s been for nothing.

“We understand the global health need, but it still hurts,” Bottoms said. “The Olympic Committee made the decision, and we’re abiding by it. The only question now is when, or if, the games’ll be rescheduled.”

Team members expressed their own frustrations

“We worked our tails off, mostly in the evenings,” Antonio Fletcher said. “Gave up dominoes to train for this. Had uniforms and everything. Now the bigwigs just smacked all of us right in the mouth.

“Gonna keep training, I reckon, and hope for the best,” Fletcher said. “The worry isn’t if we’ll lose our skills. Those’re drilled in. Some of us’ll lose our focus, our mental edge, though. Might never bounce back.”

Others were more outspoken.

“Mentally, most team members are hanging on by a thread as it is,” team member Alison Diesel said. “We can’t just lie down and take this. We’re protesting like hell. Of course, we can’t leave the island, so not many people’ve noticed.

“We got a picket line in front of the Sand Spit bar, where we train, so the committee can see how hacked off we are,” Diesel said. “It’s streaming online, but we’ve only had seven viewers so far. That’s doubly depressing. But we’re not giving up hope.”

Some in the community see the cancellation as politically motivated.

“This was our big chance to put Blacktip Island, and the Tiperons, on the map,” Reg Gurnard said. “Our team’s damned good. The Olympic Committee knows it, too, and is scared of us. This isn’t about health, it’s about protecting the big guys and denying the Tiperons their first-ever medal.”

Others hoped for a compromise with the committee.

“If we know the risk and are still willing to take it, that should be enough to open the games,” team member Leah Shore said. “It’ll all be on us. Give us our shot and we’ll stay there in quarantine as long as necessary.

“We don’t want a two-week stay in Tokyo at someone else’s expense,” Shore said. “But for team and country, that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make.”

Leave a comment

Filed under best scuba diving novels, Caribbean