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Friday, October 20, 2006

Rhythmic Gymnastics 

I have a friend of a friend who is heavily into rhythmic gymnastics - something about which I know nothing. Enter Wikipedia:

Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport in which single competitors or groups of two or more manipulate five types of apparatus: Ball, Clubs, Hoop, Ribbon, and Rope. It combines elements of ballet, gymnastics, theatrical dance, and apparatus manipulation. The victor is the participant who earns the most points, as awarded by a panel of judges, for leaps, balances, pivots, flexibility, apparatus handling and artistic effect.

Here's a sample of rhythymic gymnastics (with emphasis on flexibility):

rythmic gymnastics competition

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And here's another:

Alexandra Orlando

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The sport was even featured in a Bernie Mac episode:

'Eye of the Tiger' (episode #45)

Shaquille O'Neal has a cameo, and Jordan drops basketball for rhythmic gymnastics, to the horror of Bernie, who finds it embarrassing and effeminate. Jordan: Jeremy Suarez. Vanessa: Camille Winbush. Wanda: Kellita Smith.

Back to Wikipedia:

Rhythmic gymnastics is largely a sport for women and girls, but a growing number of men participate. The Japanese's version of Men's rhythmic gymnastics includes tumbling and is performed on a spring floor. Points are awarded based a 10-point scale that measures the level of difficulty of the tumbling and apparatus handling. Individuals compete in four types of apparatus: rope, stick, double rings and clubs. Groups do not use any apparatus. Japan hosted the first men's world championships in 2003, drawing teams from Canada, Korea, Malaysia, and the United States.

Whew. And I thought bellydancing was hard.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

The one with the ribbon is really cool looking. The first one is a little scary. imo.
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