It's become a tradition for Matt and me to learn a new sport at each Games. In Athens, we almost drowned trying to compete with the synchronized swimming team...
....and in Torino we risked life and limb when we got on the luge together:
So the bar was pretty high coming into Beijing, where I was tasked with choosing our next adventure into Olympic competition.
I eliminated anything involving guns and shooting right away. (Talk about Hindenburg potential!) Equestrian was out; I'd rather ride an elephant than a horse. And track and field? Now that's just laughable.
I settled on rhythmic gymnastics, where the greatest physical danger is death by embarrassment.
We got some expert help from Canadian Alexandra Orlando, the only North American to qualify in rhythmic gymnastics for the Olympics. They call her "Alex the Great" in Canada, and after a few hours in the gym, it was easy to see why. She makes twirling those ropes and ribbons and hoops look easy. It is not. Trust me.
After a few hours with Alex the Great, we were "ready" for the big time. Let me tell you, Matt and I put on a performance unlike anything you've ever seen before. In fact, I'm not even going to try to describe it. You'll have to watch with your own eyes. WATCH VIDEO HERE
So, what did I learn from this whole experience? One, I know what it feels like to be a sausage (see photo of our uniforms). Two, rhythmic gymnastics has reinforced my belief that the sports that look the easiest are actually the hardest. And three, it's a great sport with a lot of growth potential. It's already big in Asia, and if our performance doesn't send the world of rhythmic gymnastics into a downward spiral, I think it's really going to catch on.