Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see hobbits compete in the hundred-yard dash?
Or watch a foursome of dwarves swim the freestyle relay?
Or enjoy a game of soccer played by elves?
That sounds insanely entertaining yet unlikely.
We’re into the second week of the Olympics, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been watching every day. Gymnastics, and swimming, and track, OH MY!
No, not an elf racing Usain Bolt, cool as that would be.
You get…Middle-earth Olympics.
What does that mean? Simple.
- What would it look like for Middle-earth to hold its own Olympic games?
- What sports would the event include?
- Which areas would the various races excel in?
- Would there be any controversy? You know…gotta watch out for those orcs and their steroid use. 😉
I compiled a list of twelve possible events that the Middle-earth Olympics would include, as well as a brief review of potential outcomes.
This one goes without saying, given its nearly revered status among many Middle-earth races. The competition centers on making the most intricate smoke shapes. Here, hobbits and wizards hold the advantage.
Dwarves, as we know, are dangerous over short distance. Natural sprinters, in fact.
Add the natural speed of men and elves to the mix—plus the fact that their strides are significantly longer than those of dwarves—and this event promises close races and ample amounts of excitement.
At first glance, this may seem to have elven dominance written all over it. And in most cases, that would be true.
Yet Aragorn and Gimli proved the ability of men and dwarves to match the deadly combination of elven speed and endurance. It’s risky to pass off those races as having no chance, but the elves are favored.
Because Ents. Getting them to actually attend the games is trialsome in itself. Getting them to participate in a fashion that didn’t leave everyone yawning in boredom as the Ents methodically prepared for each round proves even more difficult.
But once engaged, they dominate this event. Only the dwarves could compete, and even that would be grasping for wind.
It’s not fair, really, how lopsided the shotput is, and one could argue the only reason it’s include in the Middle-earth Olympics is to encourage the Ents to attend.
One of the few events in which the four primary races each stand a decent chance of winning.
The ability of dwarves to down disturbing amounts of this favored drink is common knowledge, as is the propensity of hobbits, despite their small stature, to consume pints at a time.
It should come as no surprise that men, too, have no trouble holding their own.
Yet the elves, though first impression suggests they hold as much love for ale as for dwarves, are equal to the task, as proven by the indomitable performance of Legolas at Edoras.
The elves excel at this sport above all others. However, the Gondorian Rangers are gifted with no small skill in this regard. A close contest is certain, with the advantage leaning in favor of the elves.
There’s no contest in this event. The storied Riders of Rohan possess the skill, experience, and strength—physical and mental—to reign supreme. None can offer but the slightest opposition.
Here, at last, is the event where the hobbits shine, if shine is the proper word for scarce performance and random luck of shots where the skill and experience of all others rise to the level of deficiency.
For this reason of obscurity, it’s questioned whether golf should be eliminated from the Middle-earth Olympics.
Men, dwarves, and elves offer stiff competition for one another in this discipline. Orcs, too, compete, but rely too much on brute strength and aggression, which is oft their undoing.
The elves hold the advantage in strength and agility, while tenacity favors the dwarves. Men combine the strengths of their counterparts, making for an evenly matched event.
Once again, hobbits don’t fare well, and orcs make another appearance, this one less impressive than in dueling. Though men have some ability in this area, and by sheer skill the elves fare well, none can outdo the dwarves.
An axe in the hand of a dwarf is comparable to a pipe between the teeth of a hobbit.
RIDDLES AND POETRY
Contested as a sport chiefly due to its lack of physical demands, riddles and poetry is nevertheless included as an event requiring dexterity of mind.
In riddles, hobbits easily master any others. In poetry, they face fierce opposition from men and elves alike, with dwarves chipping in a few masterful pieces of their own.
Overall, hobbits enjoy the advantage.
As expected, elves perform more consistently and with better results than the other races, making them the United States equivalent of the Middle-earth Olympics.
Which Middle-earth Olympic event would you want to attend? I’d love to hear your thoughts.