The Olympics are 10 days away and already traffic jams are forming in London.
The British government is straining its military to provide extra security now that the private contractor hired to protect the games has admitted it doesn't have enough people to do the job.
Clearly, the Olympics need to be downsized. And I have just the solution — get rid of swimming.
Not all swimming mind you, just the extraneous swimming that fills hours of prime time television with talented athletes competing in races in which they are required to go slower than they could.
According to the london2012.com website, 950 athletes will take part in 34 swimming events over a week of competition. You could cut those numbers by three-fourths by eliminating the breaststroke, butterfly stroke and backstroke; all ways of swimming that propel you through the water at speeds slower than the freestyle stroke.
What's the point of a race? To cover the required distance in the shortest time possible. Why do we have races? Because there are occasions in life when there is an advantage to moving fast and it's a challenge to see who among us can move the fastest.
For some reason, swimming techniques have earned a spot in the Olympics even though they don't demonstrate who can move the fastest.
Say you're in the water and an alligator is coming toward you. Are you going to butterfly your way to shore? Not if you value your limbs. You're kicking your feet and rotating your arms front to back and front again, in other words freestyling, your way to safety.
In "Jaws," when the shark is closing in on the poor sap that was on the dock when it got pulled out to sea, was the guy doing the backstroke?
Record times for the slower strokes are about three to 10 seconds slower than the freestyle record over 100 meters.
But races are events, and events that tend to be dominated by Americans to boot. That adds up to more U.S. interest and better ratings for NBC, which has more than $4 billion invested in televising the games through 2020.
Since enforced slow swimming isn't going away, perhaps Olympics officials and NBC should consider going in the other direction.
Add more athlete-limiting events for more hours of programming.
In keeping with the swimming tradition, how about foot races of varying lengths in which competitors must run backward? Or where they run as fast as they can with both arms extended above their heads.
A relay race in which one leg is run forward, one backward, one on only the left leg and one on only the right leg.
A high jump where athletes leap using their hands and arms instead of their feet and legs.
The one-handed pole vault.
There's no limit to the ways we can limit Olympians, once we agree that going fast is no longer the object of the race.