After years of preparation, unprecedented security, and a Mitt Romney gaffe or two, the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London get underway about 3 p.m. Houston time. At the same time, multitudes will gather in nearby Hyde Park for a free concert with Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics and Paolo Nutini, selected to represent the four kingdoms of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Somehow Bono has managed to sit on his hands through this one... so far.
And then many weeks from now, on Aug. 12, Blur, New Order and the Specials will perform during the closing ceremonies, also in Hyde Park. Music is obviously an essential part of any Olympic celebration -- in fact, Texas musicians like Dale Watson and the late Don Walser performed at assorted festivals and parties during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics -- and even moreso this year because the Brits take their music so seriously.
However, the Olympics themselves aren't quite as mad for music. The athletes' iPods are an indispensable part of their training regimens, of course, but when it comes to the actual games, the only events we can think of where music figures heavily is floor gymnastics and synchronized swimming.
That's no good. Considering they'll make just about anything an Olympic sport these days, there are plenty of things that go on around a concert stage that Rocks Off thinks are medal-worthy. So we stared at the wall a while and thought of a few.
Tuning a piano. Or a guitar, which might be just as difficult.
Stringing a harp. Approximately as interesting to watch on television as badminton.
Filling a tour rider. Watch as the German team takes gold by fiendishly sorting brown M&Ms.
Festival golf-cart racing. Dodge portapotties and people on walkie-talkies not looking where they're going.
Running a soundboard. Scratch that, since no one has ever done this correctly. (We kid, we kid.)
Working the door. Contestants will be evaluated on spotting fake IDs, making change, and both humor and creativity exhibited in turning away obviously intoxicated people.
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Synchronized stage choreography. Highest-scoring groups to date include '50s doo-wop, '60s Motown and '80s hair metal.
Surely we must have forgotten something. Feel free to leave some more potential Olympic events in the comments.