It’s that time of year where we all sit down with our friends and family to yell at the TV about sports we didn’t even know existed. Did you have any idea that 3-on-3 basketball was an Olympic sport? Neither did I.

It’s time to crank up the AC so we can wrap ourselves in our American flag blankets and cheer on the Red, White, and Blue!

There will be pomp and circumstance. There will be drama and controversy. There will be new faces on Wheaties boxes. Heroes will be made. And we will all watch and care deeply about gymnastics for a few days—and not think about it again until 2024.

The Olympics… Am I right?

I have a deep nostalgic love for the Olympic Games. I blame 1984. I was six and Carl Lewis took his first steps toward becoming an athletic god, while little Mary Lou Retton made every American girl feel like she could win Olympic gold. I also blame 1988. How could you not root for the Jamaican bobsled team? So yes, I get excited for the Games. I look forward to both the Summer and Winter Olympics, but they remind me that I have almost zero athletic ability. I am not incredibly fast or overly strong, and I’m nowhere near motivated enough to be a coach, so I decided to take the next logical step…

I set out to create a Cigar Olympic team. What cigar would perform well in track and field? None of them. We’re not an industry of runners, so I left that sport off the list (hey, it’s my game, so I make the rules). I picked eight sports I thought our industry could compete in.

Let’s kick this off with everyone’s favorite Olympic sport…

Equestrian

Cigar Olympics Equestrian Davidoff Royal cigar

It’s okay. You can admit it. You’re all about the dressage, eventing, and jumping. (for the uninitiated, these are the three equestrian disciplines)

Deep down, you know you deserve to be royalty and to dress up in the silly outfits. You know there is a special connection between you and your equine. You yearn to wake up early in the morning (because that makes some kind of difference?) to ride your steed through the mist on your way to Olympic gold! You’ll return home to a parade of adoring fans and everyone will sing your praises. I may be revealing too much about myself here, so we should wrap this segment up.

Your victory meal will consist of caviar and champagne, and you will retire to your smoking lounge, where a bottle of Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey and a box of Davidoff Royal Release await you. You just know that the rich folks who live this kind of lifestyle would settle for nothing less than a cigar with a high price point and the word “Royal” in the name. This is a cigar made for royalty, just like this sport.

Fencing

Cigar Olympics Fencing Herrera Esteli Limitada Lancero cigar

Ah yes, another sport that the average Joe stays on top of. Nothing is more exciting than two people covered from head to toe in lightweight hazmat suits trying to poke each other with sticks—really gets the blood pumping. So what if it has been featured in every Olympic Games since 1896 (known as the Games of the I Olympiad)?!

Forget the suit and the car antenna. If I’m going to battle in the foil, épée, or sabre (the three official Olympic fencing events), then I’m going to battle with a Herrera Estelí Edición Limitada Lancero. It is easily one of the best lanceros on the market, and if you’re going to do battle, why not bring the best? You’ll definitely have to ditch the mesh mask, but you’ll be fine.

Side note: I Google searched “fencing mask” to find out what they are called (turns out they are just called fencing masks) and now I’m getting some very weird adds on Facebook. (To be clear, I searched “fencing mask” and not “latex body suit,” but based on these targeted ads, you would never be able to tell. Hopefully my wife doesn’t use my computer any time soon!).

Swimming & Diving

Cigar Olympics Swimming & Diving Fuente Añejo Shark cigar

Finally, a sport that we all can relate to. Well, we can at least say we’ve been in a swimming pool and/or did a cannonball from a diving board. That doesn’t make us Michael Phelps, but we can at least understand the struggle. Have you ever tried to swim a lap in an Olympic-sized pool? You get halfway through the lap and you find yourself thinking, “There is no way anyone ever escaped from Alcatraz and swam a mile and a half to shore!”

Swimming is always one of my favorites to watch. It’s equal parts grace and raw power. It was also the easiest sport to find a cigar to represent us in the Games.

The Arturo Fuente Añejo No. 77, also known as the Shark, checks all the boxes. The Añejo is one of the best blends out there. It’s a box-pressed torpedo-shaped cigar (pro tip: torpedoes are very fast in the water) and it’s called the Shark (pro tip #2: so are sharks). I think we officially have a frontrunner for gold.

Skateboarding

Cigar Olympics Skateboarding ACID 20 cigar

Yep, thrashing is now an Olympic sport. The kids whose parents said they would never amount to anything have kickflipped their way to Tokyo. The 2020 Summer Olympics (yes, they are using “2020” even though they are clearly happening in 2021) marks the debut of skateboarding in the Games. There will be “park” and “street” events, and all the cool kids will be there.

The pro skater doesn’t care what you think. They go against the grain and listen to loud punk rock music. They have mohawks and no interest in joining the family business. Tell me that doesn’t sound like an ACID cigar?

We’ve chosen the ACID 20 from Drew Estate to represent Team Cigar in the Games. This cigar embodies the rebellious spirit of the skate park.

The closest I’ve ever been to a skate park is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.

Weightlifting

Cigar Olympics Weightlifting Asylum 13 Ogre cigar

I cannot remember the last time I lifted something heavy on purpose. That’s 100 percent fact. Every time I apply for a job, I lie and say, “Sure, I’m capable of lifting at least 50 lbs.”

Choose to lift heavy things? No thanks. A burrito is about as heavy as I’m going.

The fact is that weightlifting, in one form or another, has been around since the first modern Olympic Games: Athens 1896. Big people lifting heavy stuff has been around for a while, so we need a big smoke to represent Team Cigar.

The Asylum 13 Ogre is the right call. The only question is if we want to go with the 70×7 or the 80×8. The 70 ring gauge has a bit more agility, but the 80 is more of a physical presence. In the end, I think either one is the right choice.

Karate

Cigar Olympics Karate Joya Ninjaragua cigar

There is no Karate Kid-themed cigar that I know of. No Daniel LaRusso vitola that I’m aware of. The one thing I do know is that fear does not exist in this Dojo! See what I did there?

There have been several Dojo releases over the years, but how do we choose just one? The Undercrown Dogma is probably the most heralded of the bunch, but I think there is a better choice.

We have to go with the Joya Ninjaragua! If I’m going into a karate battle (or any type of hand-to-hand combat, for that matter), I’ll take a ninja in my corner every day of the week.

Cigar Dojo staff, can you make me a black belt in the Dojoverse now?

Gymnastics

Cigar Olympics Gymnastics Tatuaje Black cigar

The big ticket item! This is the one we all tune in for. Men’s and women’s gymnastics has it all. There is national pride in the team competition and the drive to be the best gymnast in the individual all-around competition.

There are actually three different disciplines in the sport of gymnastics: artistic gymnastics (the big events), rhythmic gymnastics (reminds me of Will Ferrell in Old School), and trampoline gymnastics (very bouncy).

Gymnasts tend to be compact and powerful. Sure, there are some exceptions, but I think we can start there. So, I looked for a short vitola with some kick to it. There are many cigars that fit this description. I had many to choose from, and you know what that means: I went with a Tatuaje!

The Tatuaje Black Label Petite Corona BC checks in at a mere 4″ x 40, but it brings the strength necessary to bring home the gold. Can’t you just picture this tiny little cigar flipping around on the balance beam?!

Canoeing

Cigar Olympics Canoeing no cigar

There are not one, but TWO canoeing events in the 2020 Summer Olympics. We have the canoe slalom (it would be weird to see a cigar do this) and canoe sprint (we’ve seen too many cigars do this). No one wants to win this medal.

Fun fact: I haven’t been in a canoe since the summer of 1987 at Camp Ravencliff.


There are many more sports in the Summer Olympics this year that we didn’t get a chance to cover. In fact, there are 46 total sports this year! I have no idea if that is a record, but it’s a ton of sports. I’m sad that we didn’t get to cover badminton. This industry is full of dudes, so you KNOW there is a cigar called Shuttlecock out there somewhere.

Are there any cigars out there that are a fit for sports we skipped? Do you think I made mistakes in my lineup? Post your Cigar Olympic Team in the comments.


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