Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk

Gymnastics has been listed as one of the sports whose Australian representatives may/will bow out of the Beijing opening ceremony march-in. Usually gymnasts don't take part in the opening ceremony for health and wellbeing reasons (it's a frickin' long circular walk, people. T'aint no Albert Park stroll) and because they're straight into training the morning after the big up-late spectacular. But still, The Age has brought it up fleetingly in light of the athletics team boycotting the march-and-wave.

The 18-strong gymnastics team will prepare in Canberra before arriving in Beijing. Despite being in the village before the opening ceremony none of the team will march in the ceremony, which will not finish until 2am. Some gymnasts must compete the following day but others compete more than a week after the ceremony.

On the topic of the Games, An interesting article has cropped up about our sole male competitor bound for Beijing, Sam Simpson.

He's revealed that he won't be training in Canberra with the men's squad, he'll be keeping a low profile and training locally by himself. It's interesting that he talks about not wanting to adjust to different equipment. Erm...won't he need to do that at the Games? Isn't every opportunity to adjust a worthwhile one to take?

On another note, I'm wary about training alone in one's home gym being good preparation for THE WORLD'S BIGGEST AND MOST MEDIA-SATURATED GYMNASTICS SHOWDOWN IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING (thanks to our sponsors NBC and McDonalds for that inspired title). I'd hate for him to get overwhelmed and succumb to nerves under the lights of the bustling Olympic arena. Beijing's a big step from a bungalow.

But hey, that's just me.


Anonymous said...

I knew the OC was a big night but I didn't realise it was THAT long until I read the same article here in the west today. 2am is ridiculous although it makes a lot of sense, and I don't know why I didn't realise this would be the time it would realistically finish before.

Still, it's such a shame that so many athletes, whether the games are in a pollution saturated country or not, do not get to go to the OC. I would be majorly pissed if I were an Olympian and couldn't do that. MAJORLY. If you weren't a medal hope it'd probably be the best bit of the entire trip!


Anonymous said...

Someone posted on another board that Ashleigh Brennan has stress fractures in her legs. Hope it's not bad or not true and that she can still compete.

Anonymous said...

whi is the "18 strong gymnastics team" i thought we only had the 7 WAG,1 MAG, 1 RG, 1 Tramp?

Anonymous said...

The number probably also includes coaching staff and physiotherapists etc.

Mez said...

Well, Larissa, as everyone's been saying (mind you I am in two minds so about the whole thing so the following does not reflect the whole opinion of myself or the blog): If they hadn't given the Games to China in the first place, these protests and potential boycotts and sponsorship pullouts and clashes of all sorts WOULDN'T HAVE (AND WON'T) HAPPENENED.

But it's too late now.

And I suppose the opening runs for so long because they've got to get all the athletes out of the arena; and no doubt once they're all finally back at the village, the athletes will get barely any sleep because everyone will be chattering excitedly outside as they return.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention Mez that it always takes a freaking century to get all the countries INTO the arena. No wonder the ceremony is such a long process. And yeah you'd totally be buzzing afterwards.

Jeepers I hope Ash Brennan does not have stress fractures! Someone tell me more! I'm worried!