Colourful leotards. Slicked back hair. Sparkles everywhere. Power and grace.
It must be gymnastics day at the Olympics in Rio.
Seriously, I LOVE gymnastics. I was not involved in the sport at all growing up, but always wished I could flip around like my friends could. As I’ve continued to watch the sport through the years, my yearn to change my name to something Russian and fling myself around some uneven bars has yet to subside. It is one of the sports that I will stay up late (11pm to find out who made the American Team after the national competition), hog the tv and watch every group. You never know what will happen, the girl or team that won the world championships could fall off the balance beam and not even medal. The 41 year old gymnast from Uzbekistan is amazing. She is competing in her 6th Olympics and is expected to make the finals for Vault. She is competing against girls were in diapers when she was winning Olympic gold medals. It’s crazy. (For more on Oksana Chusovitina read this great article from ESPN) I also love when a county who isn’t known for their gymnastics is a medal hopeful. That’s right folks, our very own Canadian women are a medal hopeful in the team rotation, with a couple of the women hopefuls for some apparatus finals. I’m so excited to watch the Canadians this afternoon.
*GO CANADA GO*!!
Then you have the disasters. In the women’s competition so far (after two of five subdivisions) you have girls from random countries that are likely to make apparatus finals (Giulia Steingruber from Switzerland on the Vault) and you have at least two girls from each rotation falling off the balance beam. It has been very dramatic. I have absolutely no qualifications with this sport, but when I watch from my couch it’s as though I’ve been in a national training school in China since I was 5 years old. I can tell you why the most decorated Olympic gymnast ever (Russian Aliya Mustafina) fell off the beam (her shoulders weren’t square throwing her balance off) and what the Chinese women need to do to make the top 3 in the team finals (stay focused and consistent in their landings). See? I told you.
I leave you with this epic disaster that happened during the men’s competition yesterday. (Please be aware, this video is EXTREMELY graphic. If you are sensitive, it’s probably a good idea to stop reading. Right now. It’s so gross it’s good.)
I can’t do it. It’s so gross. YouTube it if you want to see it. The gymnast’s name is Samir Ait Said and it breaks my heart to watch. Not only is his Olympic experience over, his gymnastic career may be also.
What sport do you have an honorary gold medal in?
Update: So the American women won the team gold and top 2 in the all around competition, the two Canadian women made the all around with Elly Black making the top 5 and Canadian trampoline gymnast Rosie MacLennan won gold for the second consecutive Olympic games. It has been a pure pleasure to watch – GO CANADA GO!!