One of the biggest events of the past few weeks has been the Kit Carson and Dave Shultz international wrestling competition. These two tournaments are huge in the wrestling world and were both held here on the complex for about a week. For the tournament, we had both men’s Greco and freestyle wrestling and women’s freestyle participate. The tournament brought in 15 countries which included China, Japan, India, Bulgaria, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Armenia and Argentina just to name a few. All international athletes, coaches and staff stayed on campus and we were at fully capacity! (the Chinese team brought 60 people!) Since the tournament is such a big deal we brought in 4 volunteers to help out! (Chiropractor, ATC, PT, orthopedic surgeon) Over the week, we got to go and watch plenty of wrestling (which is really intense by the way!) There were plenty of injuries and plenty of powerade to make. The other intern and I even experimented and mixed yellow and blue to make green just for fun. The Chinese and Japanese team loved it and drank all 10 gallons in about 2 hours! Some of the injuries included; fractures, torn ligaments, cuts, sprains, and especially the infamous cauliflower ear. I even got to see cauliflower ear drained by the orthopedic surgeon, which was really gross but very interesting! Lastly during the week of competition one of the freestyle wrestlers taught me some moves and head locks so that I can protect myself when I move off to UAB and the big city in the fall! (haha).
Another huge competition held here on complex was the Rhythmic Gymnastics National Opener. This competition brought in 266 girls from age 6 to 18. Watching these girls was incredible! Their flexibility is amazing and actually pretty gross. I saw a girl do the splits with her feet sitting on the chairs and her coach pressing down on her shoulders so that her splits become inverted! With so many girls here they brought in a trainer from the USA gymnastics to help out. I accompanied her one day to the competition and she explained the sport to me in more detail. The sport itself is extremely old and traditional and is extremely popular in Eastern Europe. The girls are mostly first generation Americans with parents from eastern Europe who got them involved in the sport. The sport is a mix between ballet, gymnastics and dance. The girls compete in 5 different events with 5 different outfits and props. The routines are done on a gym floor with a carpet laid on top. They only were tiny slippers which causes significant damage to their bodies. (since they are on basketball courts) Most of the girls have or have had stress fractures in all their toes and the bones throughout the foot. Other common injuries include; stress fractures in the back and hips and broken ribs from extreme stretching and flexibility. Even with all the extremely painful injuries, all the girls still compete! One girl on the national team has a stress fracture in her tibia and she was still practicing! If anyone has free time I would definitely recommend watching some rhythmic gymnastics on youtube it is absolutely amazing!
I’ll keep you posted on more upcoming events!