SOCHI, RUSSIA — Spectators came away disappointed from Sprungschießen, claiming it was too easy, and something “a turtle on wooden planks could do in its sleep.”
Sprungschießen is a new event at the Winter 2014 Olympics this year that requires athletes to shoot a moving target with a bow and arrow immediately after launching off a ski jump. In addition, jumpers must execute an elaborate series of twists, flips, turns, and rotations. The competitors are scored on the accuracy of their marksmanship, the distance and height of their jump, and the difficulty and execution of their tricks.
“Too tame,” said Bérengère Page of France. “Each jump only lasts a matter of seconds. I want minutes of death-defying danger. Why don’t they begin their descent by jumping out of an airplane? That might at least make the event endurable to us spectators.”
In 2013, as traditional ski jumpers prepared for Sprungschießen, 34 athletes lost their lives: 19 died from crashing, three were strangled by their bowstrings, five managed to shoot themselves with their own arrows, and the remaining seven were shot by their Sprungschießen competitors.
“It’s ridiculously boring,” said Slovenian Matija Kolar. “Sprungschießen is like watching a TV dinner thaw on top of a plot of grass in a room with paint drying on its walls. Who could watch it?”
“I’m here for excitement!” he continued. “If I wanted to be bored I’d watch polar bear jumping.”
NBC has decided not to air Sprungschießen. “With limited hours to share the Olympic Games with our American audience, we must be selective in the events we air,” said an NBC spokesperson.
In the Sprungschießen finals, Japan’s Ryoichi Takahashi shot his arrow directly through five apples as they were hurled thirty feet in the air, completed a triple backflip and a 1080° turn, and landed the jump smoothly. He was disqualified for failing to meet the event’s minimum excitement threshold, as were the rest of the athletes.
As a result of the event’s spectacular failure, the IOC has already announced changes for the 2018 iteration of the event, which include landing on a half-pipe, skiing through moguls, flying through a ring of fire, and dodging pits of snakes lined with razor-sharp steel spikes.
Ms. Page and Mr. Kolar only yawned.