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Shell Shocked: Sanibel Shelling -- next great Olympic sport

August 10, 2012
Art Stevens , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Now that the Olympics are just about over it's time to reflect on what might have been, how the games could be improved and how they would be of greater appeal to the residents of Sanibel.

Clearly, what was missing from the games was shelling. An Olympic event that pits one expert sheller against another is a must. How could past and present Olympic committees look past their noses and ignore shelling? Shelling, as practiced in Sanibel, is one of the world's great sports and must have its rightful place in the next summer Olympics.

Once sanctioned by the Olympics committee, our expert shellers in Sanibel would have four years to perfect their skills and proudly represent Sanibel in the Olympics.

It's not uncharacteristic for the Olympics committee to continue to add sporting events to the summer games. Tennis made a comeback to the Olympic games in 1988. Golf will become an Olympic sport in 2016. If lip synching, snoring and hot dog eating have become Olympic sports, why not shelling?

Shelling is just as elegant as gymnastics, track and field and swimming. In fact, some of Sanibel's leading shellers have been chafing at the bit to get the sport recognized internationally. The ability to maneuver among decrepit and worthless shells on a beach and recognize and capture the true shell beauties is a skill only topped by downing twenty shots of pure alcohol in thirty seconds.

While it is true that Sanibel shellers would have to compete with some of the world's great shellers, such as those in Brooklyn, Boise, Casablanca and Antarctica our level of competition is world renowned. The Sanibel stoop is proudly recognized everywhere. When practiced correctly, the Sanibel stoop reduces the human body to pre-Neanderthal sublimity. Shelling is what the human body was pre-ordained to do.

However, we must pass the mantle of world class shelling on to our younger generation. It is they who will possess the bodily skills necessary to be on the world stage. Let us begin now. Let us identify natural shellers immediately and get them on the same kind of training regimen as our glorious female gymnasts. Let them taste the possibility of representing the U.S. in this new Olympic sport and do us all proud.

To begin with, the famed Sanibel Stoop would have to be learned by youngsters starting in elementary school. Our young ones must be taught how to stoop correctly to maintain the minimum Olympic standards. It's to be expected that international competition in this event will be intense and Sanibel can't lose sight of its historic shelling legacy.

More recent additions to the Olympics line up of events include lip synching. This sport had its origins in Motown when youngsters there began to lip synch recordings of Diana Ross and the Supremes. When they went to class and repeated their lip synchs to their classmates a group of teachers understood immediately the importance of this new sporting event.

These Motown teachers went to the school's athletic department and petitioned for lip synching to be recognized as a legitimate sport in the same way that pickpocketing and point shaving were. This Motown athletic department was visionary and understood that lip synching could be elevated to an Olympic sport.

Shelling is in that same category. It will be embraced by the same millions of people who have stayed glued to their TV sets these passt two weeks watching Dimitri Gestafoulous take the Gold for body rings.

 
 

 

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