UNLIKELY CITY SELECTED TO HOST NEXT YOGA OLYMPICS
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Yoga Olympics: event to provide boost for area economy.
Olympic hopeful Rhonda “Knots” Berrington practices hide-and-seek under the watchful eye of her coach. Her poor performance in the event cost her a gold medal in the last yoga games.
Photo by, Senior WWGN picture taker
By DALE STINGLE
Senior Bendy-sports Reporter
Area yoga devotees meditated excitedly when the International Yoga Olympic Committee (IYOC) announced their choice for a host city. An underdog in the race, Lexington (known to locals as Flexington) beat the yoga powerhouses of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Helsinki, Finland, and even the odds-on favorite Jodhpur, India - the traditional birthplace of yoga and weird pants.
“We really pushed hard for this,” stated Sally Feasle, acting head of Fayette County’s Department of Olympics and Picnics. “We put out the ‘welcome yoga mat’ to convince the committee that we have the infrastructure and workforce to do this. We did have to make a few concessions, however. The Arboretum State Botanical Garden will have the grass ripped out and replaced with yoga mats, and the trees will be cut down to make room for the Olympic Village. The felled trees will be sawn into lumber for the construction of yurts, as is the tradition for the Yoga Olympics.”
Ticket sales were initially dampened when the official supplier, Lululemon, stated they would not supply see-through yoga pants. However, a fan-favorite event, tantric yoga, was sold out in minutes. Local vendors say sales of jerseys, collectible mats, bobbleheads, and giant foam fingers are flying off the shelves.
There will be a mix of the old and the new in this year’s games. Standards include synchronized yoga, which the Romanian team is expected to take the crown for the third straight time. The yoga biathlon is back. For those new to yoga, this sport has competitors shooting targets from one of several poses. After the unseemly event in Texas, organizers urge fans not to fire back at the athletes. The venerable “Bend it Like Bikram” competition has a new counterpart out of Canada. While Bikram favors venues heated to 105 degrees, Horton Yoga, as it is known, has each player holding a pose on an ice rink. The last one to shiver wins.
Competitors are expected to hit 60 miles an hour when leaving the ramp. Veterans of the sport call it the “crap your mat” event.
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Another new event takes a page out of the Winter Olympics playbook. Athletes will be vying for the best yoga jumper. Competitors will slide down a steep, 500-foot ramp going airborne at the end. The judges will look for the correct pose, length of flight, and a clean landing. Players have been clocked, leaving the ramp at over 60 miles an hour. The odds-on favorite is Janice Beard. She is nicknamed Aladdin by her teammates. In practice sessions, she has reached lengths almost as far as Nordic ski jumpers.
This competitor got poor marks for this yoga jump landing but stuck it in the next round.
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