Illustration by Sam Woolley.

“I’m sorry for wanting to be thorough,” said Team Gawker’s Brendan O’Connor, before failing to place in Monday afternoon’s competition.


Competitors from each team were challenged to name as many summer Olympic sports (out of a possible 41) in a period of 30 seconds. From the start, Team Sex’s Emma Carmichael was favored to win the event—given her history as an NBC employee tasked with watching around-the-clock footage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics’ least-watched sports—and she outpaced, and eventually out-named her competitors handily, correctly naming 20 summer Olympics sports to the silver medalist, Team Deadmodo’s Samer Kalaf’s 11.

Carmichael’s highlights included badminton, field hockey, and three different kinds of cycling: Cycling track, cycling, road, and cycling BMX.


Kalaf, a sports blogger, started off strong, managing to name several mainstays (basketball, swimming, gymnastics, soccer), as well as canoeing (rare!), but faltered when he reached track and field, known on the Olympics’ website as “athletics.” He named several events within the athletics subhead before saying, “Did I say gymnastics? [He had.] Gymnastics. Dammit.”

Tied for the bronze medal were Team Celebrity’s Julianne Escobedo Shepherd and Team Fashion’s Kate Dries, who both were able to name 10 sports each, including several unusual items (Escobedo Shepherd was the only one to name “Trampoline”). But both suffered setbacks (maybe because of something I said?) that made it hard to finish as strongly as they had begun.

“Throwing shit,” said Escobedo Shepherd, “Somersaults... Now I forget...”


“Open water swim, rowing, water polo... Motherfucker,” said Dries around second 22. “Oh my god, that’s not that many.”

O’Connor’s fatal flaw revealed itself when he started naming individual events within track & field (only the sport categories per this official page were included). Even after he was given an additional 15 seconds to accommodate the mix-up, it seems his fate was sealed, despite his addition of “all of the volleyballs.” Ultimately, he named nine.

Current Standings:

Gold medal: Emma Carmichael, Team Sex, score: 20.



Silver medal: Samer Kalaf, Team Deadmodo, score: 11.

Bronze medal (tie): Kate Dries, Team Fashion and Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Team Celebrity, score: 10.

Failed to place: Brendan O’Connor, Team Gawker, score 9.


For those curious, here are all the summer Olympic sports:

Archery, athletics (track and field), badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe slalom, canoe sprint, cycling BMX, cycling mountain bike, cycling road, cycling track, diving, equestrian dressage, equestrian eventing, equestrian jumping, fencing, football (soccer), golf, gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), handball, hockey (field), judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, trampoline, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling freestyle, wrestling greco-roman.