Posted by: reneewildes1 | March 19, 2012

SPORTMANSHIP – AKA “Don’t Call Me Twirl Girl!”

Let me tell you a little story about sportmanship, comparing small-town junior figure skaters vs. grown men in a nationally televised medieval jousting tournament. I witnessed the best of it yesterday, and the worst of it tonight…

Yesterday was the Timberline Figure Skating Club “Footloose on Ice” ice show at Greenheck Field House (DC Everest High School in Westin WI) – the culmination of Hell Week. These little girls, ages 3 and up, skated their butts off every night. We had exhaustion, injuries and homework struggles. We had sprained ankles & knees, broken teeth with emergency root canals, cut up elbows, and girls putting their heads together between practices helping each other with homework. The day of the show, we had girls loaning spare mondors, sharing makeup & glitter, doing each other’s hair, sharing snacks and drinks, cheering themselves hoarse for each other. We watched the TFSC Synchro team cheering on the Medford Synchro team in practice & the show – arch enemies, one would think.

Some of Tami’s friend play hockey for The Storm. They call her “Twirl Girl” and she calls the “Smash Girls.” But those little “twirl girls” are all heart and guts and soul.  Tami had to learn FOUR routines in a week, skated until she couldn’t straighten her right knee, and watched her friend Margaret do a bloody face plant and get a fake tooth. Saturday afternoon, 1 PM show, first number. Senior skater fell backward on the ice and smashed the back of her head. Concussion – to the tune of paramedics, ambulance, CT scan and morphine. Watched a head coach running around barefoot on the ice. Watched the rest of those girls suck it up and skate their hearts out – including the rest of the seniors juggling a “missing man” formation. And they ROCKED the house.

Tonight I witnessed grown men who should have taken lessons. I watch Full Metal Jousting on the History Channel. Saw a guy last week get booted for PUNCHING a horse in the face – for stepping on his foot. This week, a guy had the misfortune of hitting BOTH his opponents in the crotch area. His teammates gave him a hard time and a nasty nickname – like any guy would do that on purpose. He felt terrible. When one of the black team guys tore his groin and pulled out of the competition, they were short a rider and let one of the eliminated back in (kind of like an alternate). Since last week they let a former black member back in, this time they felt it only fair to reinstate a former red team member (who had the highest low score) – but he had to join the black team. He had to go into the joust with NO prep time and no rehearsals or practice – and his new “teammates” refused to cheer for him, or encourage him, or anything. He lost the match. They just sat there. The red team guys cheered their guy to victory.

I was cheering on the black team. I am now cheering for the red team.

Little WI girls could definitely teach those big bad macho men a thing or two about the meaning of “team” and “sportsmanship.” Next hockey player who makes fun of those little “twirl girls” I swear I’m turning them over my knee – and maybe a man or two while I’m at it…

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