One of the things that makes the Olympics great is checking in on sports that you otherwise would never watch, like fencing or table tennis or handball. Sure, in a couple of weeks we’ll forget all about them, but in the moment, the unfamiliar form of competition can be exhilarating. Most of them are easy enough to figure out, but none of us know all the nuances of the rules. As it turns out, that can get you in trouble if you’re there in person.
For example, golf is back in the Olympics after more than a 100-year absence. The capybaras on the course are friendly, most of the golfers have their clubs, and the fans are enthusiastic — one of them too much so. When a mishit ball landed in the rough near him, he moved to pick it up like a souvenir. You’re not allowed to do that, guy!
The surrounding crowd, aghast, started screaming “NOOOOO” until the man relented, we assume sheepishly. This happened despite the fact that officials handed out pamphlets describing the layout of the golf course, certain golf terminology and helpful tips, including “Never catch a ball, even if it is in front of you.”
In fairness, the man didn’t try to catch it; he waited until it landed. That’s on the organizers for one of the greatest sins one can commit — a poorly worded pamphlet.