In Germany, on Monday, a sports official was tragically killed. He was killed by a 15-year old kid. He was killed with a javelin. Damn…how does this not happen more often!?
Javelin is not a sport. Javelin, or “spear chucking,” (does anyone see the irony of a white guy being called a “spear chucker” without a racial overtone? I giggled a bit myself) is just a celebration of what Cro-Magnon hunter/gatherers did to survive. This is how I feel about most Olympic sports, actually. Swimming is what you do to keep from drowning. Running is what you do to either outrun a serial killer or catch an ice cream truck. Frankly, all track and field sports are derived from some aspect of the prehistoric man’s daily life.
Is it any wonder that someone was injured in a spear throwing contest? A pubescent German was given a spear and told to throw it as hard and as far as he could. A judge stood downfield to measure distance. Not from the safety of a booth, or being behind the thrower, but within striking distance. So, he got struck. In the throat. He died.
What the hell was he doing that he got hit by a spear? Those things don’t break the sound barrier. You can see that shit coming. What was an 74-year old man doing judging a javelin competition anyway? That’s retirement age and he’s out the getting spears thrown at him? I would think that if they needed a “veteran” judge for a youth competition, he would remember the old adage we applied to baseball, “Keep your eye on the spear at all times.”
I can only feel so bad for everyone involved. A child was given a sharp stick and a man stood close enough to be hit by it. This is like the YouTube videos when dads stand behind children swinging a bat and take one to the testicles; I just have to laugh a little. You had that coming.
We have technology that measures the distance of a home run. We have technology for slow motion replays. Hell, we’ve had binoculars for a long time. Why are people still standing downfield? This is like an official at a sharpshooting competition standing next to a target to judge a shooter’s score…while he’s still shooting!
The fact that javelin is still around in its current form is the same as if we hadn’t put the kibosh on lawn darts. “Hey, stand behind a circle across from your friends and throw giant, metal darts as close to them as you can for points!” Yeah, we saw the light on this one after a couple of kids took a dart to the torso…Oh, but javelin is an Olympic sport. If a baby got killed by a discus we’d be up in arms over the safety. Javelin kills an old man? Not up for debate.
Unfortunately, this 15-year old kid is fucked. His career is over. He has to live with the memory of that day he killed a 74-year old German with a spear. That’s a tough road to hoe, and no amount of schnitzel makes that shame any more palatable.
I know it’s all tragic, but this judge wasn’t killed when he took a gymnastics ribbon stick to the eye during an especially vigorous routine; this wasn’t a shocking, freak accident. This was the odds proving out. He was hit by a spear that was thrown at him while standing in an area known for its heavy spear traffic. He was a 74-year old javelin judge. That’s house money if I’ve ever heard of it.