Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol

My former personal trainer and very good friend, Karyn, is a two-time Olympian in team handball, a sport little known in the U.S. Across the globe, however, team handball has more fans and more participants than ANY OTHER sport outside soccer.

The sport requires skill in dribbling, passing, throwing, leaping, and goaltending, so team handball players in the US -- where we don't grow up playing the sport like the rest of the world -- are generally basketball, volleyball, softball, and soccer players who bring their athletic ability to the court, and learn the rules and nuances of the game as they train. My friend was a three-sport letter winner in college and was a shoo-in for handball, as it's called everywhere but here.

Because it encompasses so many different skills (including an intuitive understanding of physics!) team handball has actually become part of the gym curriculum in our school district. I hope, bit by bit, the beauty and incredible coolness of the sport sink into our national psyche, and it becomes part of the mainstream.

Watch the following video (only 30 seconds) to see poetry in motion.

This sport gives me goosebumps, seriously. Can't wait for Beijing.

1992 Olympic Team, Karyn is in the center row, second from left.

1988 Olympic Team, Karyn is on the bottom row, second from left.

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