Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympic Joy

The other night B and I were staying up far past our bedtime (AGAIN!) to watch the Olympics when they announced that next up would be the individual trampoline competition. As both a former gymnast and someone who broke her nose and got sent to the plastic surgeon in 7th grade as a result of a trampoline game called "crack the egg" I started snarking about how could the trampoline be an Olympic sport, and isn't that quite a stretch, and it was never in any of our competitions, and blah blah blah. B, having equally fun but more drunken memories of trampolines, agreed that he couldn't think of how it could really qualify, blah blah blah....

Insert four feet into two mouths. Did you SEE those girls!!!!??? DID. YOU. SEE. THEM?! We sat there all scrunched up on the couch with our mouths open going "OH!" "Oh God!" "AH!" "Holy crap that was stressful to watch!"

It's a little like reverse diving in my mind. Instead of being freakishly high in the air and diving into water, the jump freakishly high into the air and perform inhuman feats of strength and precision. They start by taking a full minute to jump as high as they can. After this, they have to perform ten routines in rapid succession without taking additional bounces between, all while staying on the trampoline. I don't' know if you've ever tried to jump really high on a trampoline, but it's virtually impossible to keep your body in check and not go sailing off or land on a spring. These girls looked like they were several stories in the air. Not to mention that I have no idea how you can make sure you land on the trampoline when you never stop flipping and turning.

Bravo, girls! Seriously... I take it all back. I promise never to talk smack about the trampoline ever again.

As a side note, I have to say what a great pleasure it has been to have the Olympics on. It's such a pure and uncommercialized event to watch, and that is so void nowadays. These men and women have put in a degree of drive and effort that most people would never be capable of, all in the pursuit of a dream. 95% of them will never be recognized on the street and will not walk away with endorsement deals. It's so pure and authentic.

My own cousin spent eight years training for the Olympics in speed skating and the schedule he kept for EIGHT YEARS would blow your mind. Like most of the athletes, he wasn't sponsored and had to work full time while pursuing this goal. So he skated every day from 5am - 8am, worked for 8 hours, and then went back to the track and skated again from 6pm - 9pm. Everyday. For eight years. He also skated all weekend long. Unfortunately he missed making the team by hundredths of a second, as is so frequently the case, but from what I can tell, he doesn't seem to regret those eight years.

So, like many people across the world, the Olympics are making us permanently tired lately, but it's been worth every second.

1 comment:

feather nester said...

I didn't see them, but your description totally makes me wish I had!

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