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When I was six Santa Pig Oinking Acres Farm rescue and Sanctuary Christmas 2022 shirt . a chance encounter with rhythmic gymnastics – all ribbons, sequins and smiles – opened up a sublime, sometimes cruel new world. By 12, I had quit. What had it all meant?very four years, the same argument plays out. The Olympics reminds the public of the existence of rhythmic gymnastics and the public scoffs at this ridiculous spectacle, with its “ribbon dancing”, its sequins, its extravagant bending and pirouetting. Where artistic gymnastics – the one with the beam and the bars, the one with triple backflips and the constant risk of broken bones – is dignified and athletic, rhythmic gymnastics is frilly and absurd. How is this even a sport? Why is it part of the Olympics? These are the usual criticisms. In return, embattled admirers will point out that rhythmic gymnastics is extremely difficult, actually. There is immense skill involved in those backbends and leaps; besides, have you tried throwing and catching a ball while holding your foot above your head?
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When I first caught sight of rhythmic gymnastics, I knew nothing of this Santa Pig Oinking Acres Farm rescue and Sanctuary Christmas 2022 shirt . The reasons the sport is mocked – the sequins, the balletic dancing, the kilowatt-bright, beauty-pageant smiles of the gymnasts – were the reasons I found it delightful. I was six, sitting in my kitchen in Auckland, staring at the television. On screen, a gymnast at the 2000 Sydney Olympics tossed a bright red ribbon high into the air before catching it with astonishing ease. She was, to me, the height of womanly sophistication: beautiful, graceful, and covered in glitter. I dragged my mother into the room, pointed to the television and announced that this was the sort of lady I would like to become.My mother was used to this. When I was a baby, she had moved us to New Zealand, while my father stayed in China, working to support our lives abroad. Like many immigrant parents, she wanted to provide her child with opportunities that she, growing up as one of four siblings in rural 1970s China, did not have. By the time I was a toddler, I was going to Chinese dance lessons, which I loved, and Chinese language classes, which I hated. As I grew older, I built up a near-maniacal collection of hobbies. I wanted to play piano, then violin. I wanted to be a ballerina. I was gripped by figure skating. Much later, my mother started worrying about the lack of male influences in my life and I was sent to after-school electronics clubs, where I spent a lot of time soldering.These fixations were intense and brief. I usually lost interest within weeks. But with rhythmic gymnastics, it was different. Not long after my epiphany in front of the TV, my mother searched through the Auckland Yellow Pages and found a gymnastics club near our house. A few weeks later, we set off on a 15-minute journey through the suburbs for my first class. It was a good opportunity, my mother thought, for her daughter to get some regular exercise.
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