I would argue that many memory sports and mind sports (including chess or mental calculation), require much more energy and physicality than some of the current Olympics sports such as Pool Diving, Equestrian , Shooting, Archery or Golf.
I don’t believe that the brain (mind) is a seperate thing from the body. The brain requires around 20 or 25% of the total calories we consume. The brain is a physical part of the body, therefore a strenuous brain activity constitutes a 100% athletic (sports) activity.
I am absolutely 100% convinced that some memory disciplines such as ‘Numbers Marathon 1 Hour’ or ‘1 Hour Deck of Cards Memory’ or even mental calculation disciplines such as ‘Memoriad’s Flash Anzan’ (around 45 minutes of constant Anzan calculations (blind abacus), require a huge burning and consuming of a much greater amount of calories and focus compared to a few trials in Olympic Archery, Pool Diving, Equestrian , Shooting or Golf.
Besides, none of these aforementioned low-activity new Olympic sports were part of the original Olympics in the first place. In contrast with memory skills which were regularly practiced by ancient orators, speakers and teachers, before the written word was widespread. Not to mention Simonides in Ancient Greece in 6th century BCE, with his invention of the memory palace.
Also, many of these Olympic ‘sports’ can arguably also be done by non-human animals. I can easily imagine an ape/monkey riding a horse (Equestrian) or jumping and spin diving in a water pool or kicking a Golf ball with a stick. (not to mention the new ‘Olympic Climbing’ sport where the Top Apes (Chimps etc.) would definitely annihilate the best humans, in everything from bouldering to speed climbing).
Competitions like ‘Mind Sports Olympiad’ are not even close to 1 in a 1000 of what the summer Olympics in terms of exposure. This saddens me a bit for my human species. I think humans should be celebrating more human brain achievements. The fastest human can run 100m in around 10 seconds in the Olympics, but a random cheetah ran 100m in 5.95’’ seconds. (100 meters in less than 6 seconds). So, many of these Olympics records are not even the best records on the planet, giving that many animals can swim 10 times faster ( the top human swim speed is just 6mph compared to the 60 mph of a shark) . Kangaroos can also do boxing, and bears can wrestle also. The same with swimming etc. But I never recall last time I saw a non-human animal doing a memory sport.
How can a human claim ‘I am the best on the planet’, having a ‘World Record’ in these sports in running or swimming, when other animals can easily outswim and outrun them? Last time I checked, these animals like sharks or cheetahs, live in this world too. So, with all due respect to the fastest human swimmers and runners, Olympic running / swimming are not legit World Records. They never were.
Also, chess should not have a seperate Chess Olympiad itself, but it should definitely be included in the normal summer Olympiad. And to make up for the 125 years of chess’ unfair absence in the modern Olympics (since 1896), they should include, not only normal chess games (120 min / 40 moves ), but also Rapid 25/10 , Blitz 5/0 , Blitz 3/2, Fischer Random and arguably Bullet 1/0 as well.
The royal war strategy coming from chess is also present for at least 4000 years of warfare in human civilizations, unlike the new trendy ‘Olympic Skateboarding’. (with all due respect to the skateboarders of the world). The sport stages could fit all of us.
I am just writing here a few eccentric things in a low-traffic forum here. But if there were thousands of opinions like mine maybe we could push for more recognition and inclusion of the brain/mind sports in the Olympics, celebrating higher functioning brains. Because in the end, advanced human brains are the only advantageous difference between other animals and humans. Adaptation of the brain is the real human strength.
PS - For the record, I am Nodas Boukovalas and I have represented Greece for 10 years in 5 Mental Calculation World cups, 1 Mind Sport Olympiad (MSO) and 2 International Memoriad competitions (Antalya 2012, Las Vegas 2016).