London 2012

Yes, the 2012 Summer Olympic games are almost upon us (http://www.london2012.com) and with that comes the never ending NBC TV spots, commercials featuring real athletes hocking everything from rent-a-cars to deli sandwiches and of course, national pride. I love watching the Olympics and absolutely find myself getting caught up in the American spirit. Collectively, we will be focused on the main events such as basketball, track and field and swimming and the training that goes with their respective sports, but here are two lesser known sports that I find very interesting.  Check it out:

Team Handball

It’s like a combination of soccer (but you can use your hands), basketball (but not as much dribbling) and lacrosse (lots of passing) all being played on a very large indoor court with a small ball (smaller than a soccer ball but bigger than a lacrosse ball).  It’s seven on seven with a shooting zone that only the goalkeeper can stand in. I know it’s hard to get a grasp of what I’m trying to explain so check out this link –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ7nDrRrOSQ

This sport is very popular in Europe, and during the Olympics it’s one of the most popular attractions during the games. The USA team did not qualify for the London games so we will be forced to watch 2011 World Champion France and Pan America team Argentina duke it out with ten other teams for the gold medal.

Trampoline

Yes, Trampoline. That springy launch pad mat that has broken more nine year old ankles and caused more bumps and bruises than Pee Wee football, is an Olympic sport.  This sport debuted in the 2000 games in Sydney with the Russians taking both the men’s and women’s individual gold medals.  We Americans probably are not as focused on ‘trampoline-ing’ as we seem to think of bouncing on a 10×10 plastic springboard more of a hobby than a real sport.

But, think of ‘trampoline-ing’ as gymnastics with some zip.  Check out the height that these guys get while doing flips, summersaults, twists, you name it –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJmBhfcqZCI

Overall, I would say that’s pretty cool.

The games start on July 27 and go to August 12 with plenty of coverage on NBC and all its affiliates. This is a great time to check out new and different sports, watch the best conditioned athletes on the planet compete and cheer on your respective countries.  USA! USA!