Monday, August 2, 2010

The Tricycle Race

In a glaring indication that I need an actual hobby, I've spent some time today watching parts of a 12-hour tricycle race. I'm not really sure what the point is--other than to bring an emotionally moving scene to the audience at the end of a 26-hour live TV marathon--but for whatever reason this is the second straight year that I have watched this thing. It also happens to be the second year that this race has been held at all, so I guess that makes me some sort of follower or fan.

Anyway, I was casually watching my computer screen as the teaser for the impending race appeared (but really, let's be honest: what on earth could possibly tease about a tricycle race?), and I thought I saw none other than Yukari Nakano feverishly pedaling at a tricycle. Absurd, I told myself--she's a former elite athlete in a sport judged on its aesthetic merits as much as its technical components. She couldn't possibly be found on a tricycle a mere four or so months after her retirement, dressed in shorts and a strange cap with a towel around her neck... yet at the same time, she did enter Fuji Television this April, right? So I kept watching, and the lineups for the various tricycling teams were announced. And what do you know, Yukari Nakano was chosen as the lead driver for the "Elite オバカ" team for Fuji.

As always she was sweet and well-spoken, and even though all of the cyclists were chosen for being オバカ, in fact she was chosen because the answers that she got wrong had hilarious wrong answers, even though her overall score was decently high. Regardless... a tricycle race? Probably demeaning for most adults in the best of times, but for a figure skater robbed of a World medal? Oh dear, what have you come to?

I'm so amused. This, however, was incredibly sweet:

Daisuke Takahashi was far more well-spoken (haha), but all of the emotion and well wishes were there!

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