Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Erotics of Flying Hoops, Dept.


As the Olympics of Compassionate Totalitarianism wind down, a few thoughts on viewing the rhythmic gymnastics team finals this afternoon (I missed the individual event finals last night, darn it to heck, because NBC decided to show the fucking marathon or some shit. Yeah, go Eritrea! Or Kenya. Or Ethiopia. Or whichever country breeds champion long-distance runners by maintaining a political, social and economic environment of such shitastic dimensions that citizens are required to run 26.2 miles each day to obtain potable water.).

At any rate, five lovelies each from a flock of countries where cars are built with lawnmower engines and a wad of bubblewrap substitutes for an airbag. And Italy. Where cars are built with lawnmower engines and the smokin' hot raggaza on your lap substitutes for an airbag.

Two rounds, they showed. The first involved what appeared to be jump ropes; the second hoops and Indian clubs. At first, I was disappointed that I'd missed the individual finals, which, as I've previously noted, involve women--and, yes, actual women compete, versus the barely pubescent children in "regular", big-Wheaties-money gymnastics--performing floor exercises that borrow as much from the Ars Amatoria as from any bible of tumbling passes. But, as the performances unfurled, particularly that of the Russian team, I was frackin' amazed at the timing, skill and agility of these teams.

One woman throws four clubs with one hand and has them land spot on four different receivers.
One woman throws a hoop and three women extend a leg apiece to snag it like a brass ring off a carousel.
Two hoops go twenty, thirty feet in the air, then land to bounce off the back or foot or whatever of two women only to go flying exactly into the hands of two of their colleagues.

Not a single major mistake, absolutely amazing given the amount of shit flying up, down and across. Why they insist on showing children mincing through cutesy-poo floor routines when they could be airing this in primetime, I'm sure I cannot say. But rhythmic gymnastics rule school.

The Rooskies won gold, btw, totally deservedly so. Their routine was complex and artistic. The host country won silver, despite a minor fuckup. Belarus won silver. And the lovely ladies of Italia, despite their fetching neo-togas and excellent, excellent performances, wuz totally robbed by the Chinese.

I shall presently be starting a petition to get rhythmic gymnastics the primetime coverage it so richly deserves at the 2012 London Games. I invite you to sign it.

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