All ranked Tokyo 2021 Olympic sports, from gymnastics to water polo

21: Handball

Glue the plump into the goal. Chuck bullet to the head. Repeat.

Note: send for Fatty Foulke.

20: Sport climbing

A new entry this time: These people are really good at getting things done quickly. The sport surely claims a story / scandal that a medalist is a reformed burglar. One of the many Olympic sports (boxing, shooting, synchronized forging) where a criminal past would be excellent preparation.

Note: not one for acrophobes.

19: Trampoline gymnastics

Bring the leisure base to the international sports scene. Trampolining is a fun and healthy activity for all age groups, and much like animal sledding at the Winter Olympics, it seems like it might just happen to you rather than having to actively do it.

Note: meaty, rhythmic, big and lively.

18: Beach volleyball

The cooler cousin of another volleyball. A sport that everyone can try out if they have a ball, a swimsuit and a beach.

Ranking: the most spectacular sand show since Lawrence of Arabia.

17: Road cycling

Not as good as the Tour de France, but Britain is still there with a scream.

Note: giant pileup always possible.

16: surf

Surfing finally has its chance at the Olympics. Count on decent waves. Hoping for some great post-event “woah man” interviews with the contestants.

Note: rad.

15: Wrestling

Grapple! And not the kind where 300-pound drugged actors hit each other with folding chairs. Tough, oiled men from Kazakhstan stand against each other until one begs for mercy. One of those sports where you are really happy to watch from thousands of miles away.

Note: specialized interest.

14: Table tennis

Quite rare Olympic sport as most people have tried it at some point, maybe on a campsite, maybe in a youth club. Makes you appreciate how amazing Olympians are at things, a sense of connection you don’t get with, say, pole vault.

Ranking: the sport most offered in the 1970s. Strong vibrations of orange squash and wagon wheel.

13: Hockey

A gloriously vivid royal blue pitch can make you feel like you’re watching the Premier League years in an acid flashback, Britain looks good it’s enough like football that you can pick up the flow and the reflux. Epic masks.

Note: where were the Germans, but frankly who cares?

12: Rowing

Almost every rowing article or TV report defensively seems quick to state that “it’s not just the fancy people at Oxbridge, you know, ahahaha”. Whatever you say, your grace. In fact, it televises quite well as it scrolls horizontally like an old-fashioned Daley Thompson decathlon game.

Note: which one is Cambridge?

11: Swimming

Most of us have done it, and these people do it without getting yelled at by a sadistic gaming teacher, without having to pick up a brick or have a wart. You could argue that there are too many events: If you fell off a boat, you wouldn’t care to get to the life raft on a doggy paddle board or a frog, right?

Rating: Then enjoy an incredibly hot drink in a small beige cup from the vending machine.

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