Posts tagged sports
Posts tagged sports
Inspired by media coverage of Lolo Jones.
1. Making the Olympic finals is not Olympic success.
2. Anna Kournikova (ranked 8th in the world in tennis singles and #1 in the world in doubles) was a bad tennis player. All marketing, that hussy! Seriously, who among us wouldn’t be Top 8 in the world if we tried?
3. If you work the system, the system is your fault.
4. You cannot be a beautiful 29 year-old virgin and pose nude in a magazine. Too confusing!!! How do you expect me to reconcile that paradox?
5. If you’re a woman and you get endorsement deals that showcase your good looks and rockin body, you are: a sell-out, a sex kitten for sale, not focused. If you’re a man and you do this, you’re every famous athlete, ever.
This weekend, we took the train to Nagoya (home of Toyota) to see the Sumo Wrestling Championship semi-finals.
Obviously, I’m a huge sumo wrestling fan, and I follow the sport religiously.
I wanted to see sumo wrestling because I’ve heard about it for years, and it seemed like the kind of magical “only in Japan experience” that I’d always remember. Also, I’m a sucker for amazing outfits.
Now he’s legally blind because he has an inherited, degenerative disease called choroideremia, (pronounced ka-ROY-dah-REE-mee-yah). To raise awareness this year, he’s running 12 marathons in 12 cities, blindfolded.
Can you imagine?! I am so inspired and awed by him.
Besides the whole “marathon” thing, to run blindfolded, he has to rely on other people for 26.2 miles. I find this particularly amazing because I couldn’t even do a trust fall exercise in an improv class without cheating. I mean that literally. Basically I hemmed and hawed forever and finally just leaned on someone, but never actually fell at all, and then the teacher called it a day so the class could move on.
One of the most inspirational people I know is a professional triathlete named Hillary Biscay. This could sound surprising because I don’t do triathlons. Pretty much the only cardio I get is when I wake up in the morning and leap to check Rich and Chelsea’s blogs. The reason I know and adore Hillary is that we grew up together, carpooling to swimming, and she’s been one of my best friends since we were eight.
Normally I am skeptical of athletes and don’t find them inspirational when they talk about how worked hard or didn’t make the Varsity team on the first try, or whatnot. It’s like when models tell you how awkward they were in high school—because usually the truth is just that they are genetic wonders and maybe they realized it at age 14 instead of age 8, which is actually depressing. Also, most of us weren’t models in high school, so the implication is that we somehow failed by not growing up to be as hot as they are.
Something I enjoy about my parents is that just when I have them pegged one way, they surprise me and change and grow. Like normal people!
So when Mom told me that she was learning to play golf, I was shocked because, for 30+ years, Mom has been Someone Who Does Not Golf. (How did this happen, I wondered? Is everything okay? What caused this change? And why now?)
I’ve been denying myself an opportunity to partake in American culture for the past 25 years by not embracing football. Think of all the conversations, newspaper articles, and political analogies I’d have appreciated more if I’d simply made an effort to like the game!!!
And now that I’m trying to understand America more, I realize that “learning about football” is low-hanging fruit: it’s accessible, people in my little liberal bubble like it, and it should be so much easier to understand than say, Tea Party tactics.
I have the good fortune to go to a Jets game next month, and I don’t just want to go and observe—I want to be SuperFan. Or to put it in sadly nerdy-but-appropriate terms: if there were an AP football exam, how could I get a 5?
I’ve been sad that Dan Wheldon, this year’s Indy 500 champion, died on Sunday. I tried to explain this to a friend who rolls his eyes every time people jump on the celebrity-mourning-bandwagon with tweets and whatnot.
“But how can you feel like you knew him?” my friend said. “You have no idea what he was like.”
It’s true. I didn’t know Dan Wheldon at all. It’s amazing I even know who he is, given that earlier this year I thought that Indy 500 was part of NASCAR. (It’s like thinking World Cup soccer is part of the National Rugby League because both involve grass fields and a ball.)