Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic gymnastics

When the Olympics roll around I always get excited about gymnastics again. I usually hate it when people qualify what they write about on blogs, but I guess so you understand my point of view, when I was in highschool we had a thriving "men's" and "women's" gymnastics program. I was on the team and lettered in it and bla bla bla. We won state when I was a junior and bla bla bla. As I grew, and got older I grew out of it. (I'll get to this part later)

Having said all of that,.. I learned a lot from gymnastics, and I guess the main thing I came away from it with was a respect for women, how strong they are and what they can do. Gymnastics is brutal for both men and women. That's just all there is to it.

Horse for the men is perhaps the most brutal and difficult event. You might think rings is more difficult as you see guys doing the strength moves, but pommel horse is is actually in my opinion the hardest event. It was true when I did gymnastics and I think it's still true. This was where the US men lost out to Japan for the Silver last night I think. Only Sasha Artemev on the US team could swing well, did the flair and he had a great routine. Of course the Hamm brothers were out due to injury, but that's the thing. You can't rely on the old guys in gymnastics to keep floating the boat. You've got to keep bringing up young gymnasts, and I wonder if men's gymnastics isn't in a state of decline in the US.

Huang Xu on the Chinese team had one of the best P Bar routines I've ever seen.

Now back to this age thing and attrition of older gymnasts. The Chinese "women" are looking pretty young. If they are 16 then I think they ought to raise the drinking age in China to 27. I'm not saying they shouldn't be doing gymnastics, just make ot so everyone can have younger female gymnasts. This whole issue is something we haven't come to terms with yet.

I've yet to watch the women tonight. The whole time delay thing.


TRM said...

I have to admit, I've been sucked into the Olympics, and have been staying up and watching and getting involved in the gymnastics. There were moments last night in the men's team competition where I was shouting out loud at some of the amazing things i saw from the Chinese men, and the clutch proformances of the US men. Kind of getting into the swimming too, my kids swim so it's been cool to watch them watch some of the history that is taking place.

don said...

I usually like the winter Olympics better than the summer ones, but having it in China makes it pretty exciting.