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Formerly called "hitting," boxing is also known as the "sweet science" because all boxers love pretty flowers and are required to complete a master's degree in biology, physics or chemistry. This year's competition should prove interesting because the Cuban team has evolved the ability to spit venom.

Whoever says girls can’t play sports has never seen synchronized swimming. Or, more likely, they have. Synchronized swimming, also called "water ballet "or "bathroom break," is a demanding test of endurance, flexibility, breath control and waterproof makeup. Synchronized swimming graduated to medal status in 1984, perhaps due to bureaucratic error—we’re still looking into it. Competition consists of a technical routine, a free routine and a dance-off just like at the end of the "Beat It" video, only wetter.

It is always awe-inspiring to see the world's best stick-throwers gathered together in one place. Throwing sticks is much more complicated than many people think, and much less complicated than other people think, and exactly as complicated as a small minority of people think. Clearly, the IOC's Javelin Complexity Awareness program is failing.

Competitors attempt to jump off the ground, gaining as little height as possible while still having their feet entirely in the air. Very short people have a distinct advantage.

There are two ASCII art events, traditional and solid style. In each, athletes must produce images in the three major technical categories (dragons, angels and Star Trek) and in a free routine (invariably, dragons). Judging is based on speed and prettiness, with points taken off for errors such as use of non-fixed width fonts. ASCII art traces its roots to the ancient Olympics and the Greek sport of art typing, which was performed on manual typewriters and in the nude.

Judges will take hot coffee with or without cream. Nations without coffee will be permitted to substitute a hot wheat-based drink. Nations without wheat will be allowed to substitute hot water. Nations without water lose.

The triathlon requires intense training in running, swimming and cycling, making triathletes the Olympic competitors with the least-developed social skills. Expect most interviews with triathletes to involve a lot of mumbling and staring awkwardly away from the camera.

Sweet, sweet sturgeon is put on a platter alongside whitefish and tuna. Athletes will gravitate toward the sturgeon, place it on their plates and taste the clean, meaty flesh.

Formerly known as beach volleyball.

Contestants from around the globe compete in this exciting new event to see who is most Cambodian. Sweden is heavily favored to win the gold.

The roots of this event go all the way back to 708 BCE, when Greek men, in the middle of their marathon runs, asked themselves, "Why am I here? Running this distance is foolish. I was happier at my starting point in Athens. The food is better, the women more beautiful, the wine has a fuller bouquet… Why am I running so far away from this?"

"Yo mama is so stupid, she thinks the pole vault is what all those men pay her $50 for!" That was the winning snap in the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, where the US team stymied the second-place French, who could only retort, "Ta mere est si bete qu'elle prefererait ne pas lire Proust, le plus grand de tous les ecrivains francais." This year could bring an upset, however, since the US captain's mother is recovering from a yearlong bout of being ugly, being fat and having Hodgkins lymphoma.

Many people derisively call rhythmic gymnastics the Olympic sport for people who are not qualified to compete in other Olympic sports. But those people have never tried dancing around while waving a ribbon.

Named after Ted Kruelski of Livonia, Michigan. Athletes will try to do that thing Ted does with his hands when he’s making a point.

Athletes from all corners of the globe have one and only one objective: lay low until it all blows over. This is not so much an Olympic event as my attitude toward relationship trouble.

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