The 2016 Rio Olympics are only a few days away, and in the midst of the riots, epidemic level-diseases, corruption, and the gradual collapse of the Brazilian government, there will also be some sports going on. In honor of the upcoming games, I thought it was worth shining light on one of my all-time favorite Olympic events: Power walking. No, Im not saying that to be ironic or snarky. I legit love watching power walking. Not only is it an intense race of endurance and skill just like a normal running marathon, theres an added twist: Along the course, there are judges who specifically watch the racers walking technique to make sure theyre maintaining the highly crucial heel-toe walking pattern. If the judges catch the racer out-of-technique more than three times, theyre out. Thats right, done. They cant even receive the dignity of finishing the race; its all over if you get three strikes.
This rule has made for some incredibly heartbreaking moments, like medal contenders striking out early on or even getting disqualified literally meters before the finish line. With the Olympic race-walking distances being either 20km or 50km, that would suck to get so close and end so incredibly far from your goal. You can scoff at power walking all you want, but once you see the sweaty focus and intensity on the walkers faces, its clear theyre working their asses off just as much any other athlete in the Olympics. It doesnt even matter the racers look like waddling penguins on speed, power walking is a freaking awesome sport to watch.
In order to build hype for this underrated Olympic sport, here is a little something I like to call the Power Walking Power Playlist 2k16. This things got all the walking-themed goodness youll need to get you up and moving heel-toe-heel-toe as fast as you can. Theres some classics, lesser-known gems, golden oldies, modern hits, and even a few campy one-hit wonders thrown in there for good measure. Jam out to these tunes the next time youre in a hurry but not quite in a hurry enough to run, and check out the Mens 20km walk on August 12 and the Mens 50km and Womens 20km walk on August 19.