Yes, the Olympics fever is on.
I have rediscovered my love for artistic gymnastics. Actually there was no love lost in the first place, just that I was more looking forward to other events like badminton, which is a disappointment thus far. The gymnastics team events were over the past two days, and boy, they were so entertaining to watch. Not just because of those strong rippling muscles. (Other people are more interested in that. *coughcough*) Watching them perform those physically impossible challenging stunts is truly awesome. And I do purely mean awesome, not in the How-I-Met-Your-Mother context.
Yesterday was the men’s team event, which China completely dominated. In some ways they deserved it; most of their gymnasts are quite experienced, except Chen Yibing and Zou Kai (whose name the commentator kept pronouncing as Zoo Kay-Aye, which got on my nerves a bit after the 50th time). Zou Kai is only 20, so he looks a bit school-boyish. But he’s very small and light, and such a joy to see him bouncing and flying about on the apparatus. He was particularly memorable to me because he was the last Chinese to perform, and his routine was so well done that the team was celebrating like they won even before Zou’s score was out. Actually they didn’t really need to wait for the judges score, everyone could more or less tell predict, since China was so much ahead of Japan towards the end.
If you are in a guy-watching mood, you could watch the all-around or apparatus finals over the next couple of days. The Japanese are quite good also. They have a very good young gymnast Kouhei something, and Hiroyuki Tomita the ex-world champion. Lol at Tomita who looked so tense during the competition that he never smiled. Every time the camera showed him, he looked so depressed. Until after the results were out, he lightened up a bit and maybe he smiled la, just that the camera may not have caught it. (Which is a reason for me to watch, since it’s so rare to come across a brooding OCC-like Japanese XD) Girls with Korean preferences, there’s one okay-looking one in Kim Jihoon. I don’t know if he qualified for all-around and any apparatus though, sadly. Since I like to observe silly similarities, there are two guys on the Romanian team with names ending with ‘escu’. It’s like Koreans and Kim, Chinese with…wah got a lot of common Chinese surnames….because there are too many Chinese in the world.
While I’m on the subject of useless observations, I couldn’t help but notice that most of the Asian gymnasts don’t shave their armpits. As much attention as I try to pay to their routine, it didn’t help that they all wore sleeveless leotards. Either they think shaving deprives them of their manliness, or they think they have so little hair (not) that they don’t have to shave.
The women’s team event was a more closely contested affair, with China and US battling it out. While the men gymnasts are all very big and buff, the women gymnasts are mostly small sized, especially the Chinese and Japanese. I guess it has to do with Asians being naturally (sigh) shorter than Europeans and Americans. Anyway, the stunts performed by the women (girls la, more like) are so much more graceful. Very powerful, in a yin sort of way. (The men are obviously more yang.) The balance beam is particularly painful to watch sometimes, because it’s just so bloody difficult. When the gymnasts fall off, I really went ouch! for them. It’s a wonder how they can even do sommersaults and land on that thin little piece of wood. *salutes*
After two days of great performances from the Chinese (and world class fighting spirit of the Americans), I was truly inspired. These two days of watching gymnastics has made my inner OC so proud.