Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Olympic Torch in Space: A Prelude to Space Olympics?

With the Olympic Torch for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in a six-hour sprint to the International Space Station, is this just a prelude for an eventual “Space Olympics”? 

By: Ringo Bones

After blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, together with NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata of Japan will be carrying the Olympic Torch slated for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics up to the low-Earth orbit of the International Space Station for a first-ever space-walk with the Olympic Torch in a literally out-of-this world venue. Even though the Olympic Torch will be tethered for safety reasons to whomever be carrying it for an EVA (extra-vehicular activity – i.e. space-walk) this Saturday, it would be the first time ever in the history of the Olympic Games that the torch has taken an “out-of-this –world-route” en route to its venue for the opening ceremonies of the next year’s Winter Olympic Games. But will it also signal for a first ever “Space Olympics”? 

Imagine new legitimate Olympic events like “Weightless Rhythmic Gymnastics” of “Weightless Wrestling” or any other Olympic games performed in the weightless environment of low Earth orbit like that of the International Space Station. Would the launching of the Olympic torch for a space-walk eventually inspire the beginnings of the “Space Olympiad”? 

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