Breakdancer Sunny Choi portrait - Photo by Little Shao.

Breakdancing with Olympic Hopeful Sunny Choi

Release Date: August 10, 2023

Category: Uncategorized

Paris 2024 added a number of hip, urban sports to the program for their Games, including breakdancing. However, if you’re an average Games fan and maybe have caught a little bit of breakin’ here and there, you may not understand how it works. Not to worry — American B-girl Sunny Choi is here to explain it all, including what happened to The Worm.

Follow Sunny on Instagram and on TikTok!

Intern Annalee has got some follow-up from last week’s Seoul history moment, including some contributions from Listener Patrick from Chicagoland. Patrick found another version of the Byun Jung-il/Aleksandar Khristov fight:


Also check out this 2023 BBC interview with the referee of this bout, Keith Walker.

Jill has another story from Seoul, the amazing performance of East German swimmer Kristen Otto — though you may understand why it’s so amazing.

Want even more Seoul 1988 in your life? Listener Manu put a great story in our Facebook Group.

In news from TKFLASTAN, our listeners have been busy — Listener Patrick from Chicagoland, David, and Superfan Sarah have all gone to some cool events!

There’s a little news from Paris 2024 in the form of “what story will the media blow up?” Today’s entry is “the cleanliness of the Seine.”

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!

Photo credit: Little Shao, photo courtesy of Sunny Choi

TRANSCRIPT


Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio. Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.

Sunny Choi on Breakdancing (Episode 299)

Jill: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games. I’m your host, Jill Jaracz, joined as always by my lovely co-host, Alison Brown.

Alison, hello, how are you? That

[00:00:50] Alison: would be not Alison this week. It is Small Defender.

[00:00:57] Jill: I thought about that ’cause I don’t think anybody’s on Twitter much anymore or the fact that maybe I don’t post regularly enough that my post never see the live day. I think I’ve narrowed my B Girl name down to either pretzel bread. Or baguette,

[00:01:16] Alison: I gotta go with pretzel bread. But, ’cause we can drop some vows in there and make you like pretzel brew.

That’s how you pronounce it without vows. And you could do like, your signature move could be like the

[00:01:29] Jill: pretzel. I know. See the, that lended itself to twisting. Whereas if I was baguette, I would wear a beret on my head.

[00:01:38] Alison: Oh. Now you’re getting fancy.

Sunny Choi Interview

[00:01:42] Jill: All right, well, let’s see how fancy we get when we talk break in today.

Oh, this is so exciting. We are looking at one of the new sports for Paris 2024 break dancing. We are talking with break dancer Sonny Choi. Sonny, who’s. B girl name is Sunny, has [00:02:00] competed at Three World Championships, including a silver medal in 2019 and seventh place in 2022. And at the 2022 World Games, she scored a silver medal.

Sunny also has an M B A from Wharton, and recently left the corporate world to focus on qualifying for Paris. We talked with her about how break dancing works. Take a listen.

Sonny Choi, thank you so much for joining us. We are excited to explore one of the new sports on the Paris 2024 program. I will say this, we have not had high hopes about the commentary that will go with it. That’s, and, and really a lot of our listeners will be watching on the feed. Mm-hmm. And they haven’t been very stellar so far.

View the Olympic games, not so great world games. Also a little bit better, but not so great. But we wanna break down what, what is involved with the sport and how we at home can figure out what’s going on. Mm-hmm. Besides how cool it looks let’s break down the battle. Because it’s called the battle.

[00:03:02] Sunny Choi: Correct. Yes, absolutely. We still call it a battle.

[00:03:06] Jill: That’s, that’s cool. How many rounds in a battle?

[00:03:09] Sunny Choi: Okay, so at the Olympics, it actually depends on where you are in terms of the battle bracket as to how many rounds you’re going to have. So, early on in like the top 16, we have something called the round robin.

So you have two rounds per battle. And so in that, section you’re battling three different people. And I think people are familiar with round robin from other sports where you don’t necessarily have to win every single battle but you’re doing it to get the most points so that you move on to the next round.

And so there you’ll see two rounds per dancer in the round robin, and then after that, It’s either two or three. So, in some instances we’ll have something called best of three where you battle, and if you win two, you don’t have to do the third round. If it’s a [00:04:00] tie after the first two rounds, then you go a third round.

And then in the, I believe the semis and the finals you do three straight. So regardless of who wins the first two battles or the first two rounds, you’ll go three rounds. Each person. And at the Olympics we have, it’s gonna be one-on-one. So it’s one dancer versus one dancer. Whereas like outside the Olympics, we’ll have other formats.

[00:04:22] Jill: Is the round robin also one-on-one or will there be multiple dancers on the, the floor at the same time?

[00:04:29] Sunny Choi: It is one-on-one. And then how they seed it is like, there’s groups of four, so you battle three different people. So you battle everybody kind of in your grouping and then only one.

No. Two people move on from there, from each group. So eight move forward from the 16 that were in the round robin. So this could potentially

[00:04:47] Jill: be a long

[00:04:48] Sunny Choi: day. It’s absolutely a long day. It’s an extremely long day. I don’t know that they’ve yet announced how they’re going to break up the battles for the Olympics.

At our World Series events, we actually have additional competition that we have to get through. So we have prelims, depending on how many people were sent to the World Series event, we’ll have an entire day actually where we go down from anywhere from like a hundred to 200 dancers and we whittle that down to 16 and then either top 16, sometimes we’ll go from round robin all the way until the finals in one day, as opposed to splitting it up in two.

And when that happens, it’s an extremely grueling day because we’re doing so many rounds not back to back. There are breaks, but it almost makes it harder that there are breaks because you can’t completely cool down between them because you have to be ready to go again and again and again. So yeah, it’s pretty exhausting.

[00:05:43] Jill: How does that affect your strategy when you think about what you wanna do in a battle? Or are you just like, I have a catalog of moves in my head and this is what I’m feeling with the music and I just

[00:05:55] Sunny Choi: go, that’s more or less what I do. Everybody approaches it [00:06:00] differently and.

In this dance, there’s a different, there’s a range of how much people freestyle in their rounds. So I would say I freestyle about about 80%, 90% of my round. And then only, you know, 10 to 20% is planned. It’ll be something kind of more technically difficult to weave into the rest of my rounds so that I kind of, get that mark.

But other people actually from top to bottom will be choreographed. So it’s like a little bit more like, you know, gymnastics or figure skating. And so you have a pretty wide range. And so because of that, I think everybody approaches it differently. For me, I don’t like to repeat from even from day to day or from, you know, battle to battle you’re not supposed to.

So I try to make sure even if I’m gonna do something similar, at least I change it up if it’s between, you know, day one and day two. There are some dancers who I’ve seen just completely repeat rounds. It’s not my favorite thing, but, you know, um, it, it works for some people. But yeah, I think depending on whether you’re mixing, whether the battle is split between day one and day two, or whether it’s all in one day, that does affect how you kind of plan your rounds.

I mean, these judges are looking at a lot of dancers in one day and so they’re not gonna remember every little thing that you do. And so, given that I think you, it does leave some opportunity to repeat things here and there as long as it’s not super obvious. And then obviously between two days it’s a little bit easier to do that because we’ll forget a little bit more.

[00:07:28] Alison: Have you found that the set choreography dancers are younger in that they’ve come up in this much more formal competition scene, whereas you came up in a much freestyle mm-hmm. But sort of a wild west of break dancing.

[00:07:43] Sunny Choi: That’s a really cool observation. I do think that if you choreograph your rounds, you can kind of get to a higher level of competition faster, right?

Because you don’t necessarily need the vocabulary that somebody who [00:08:00] freestyles does. And so I do feel like generally speaking, that does help you to get to a high level a bit quicker. I think there are also other factors though, as to why people get better faster. ’cause today now we have, you know, some countries have dance schools and dance centers and they’re just like churning out dancers that are really high level, very quickly.

Also, you know, YouTube, I mean, I started in the YouTube age, but obviously with that and more people having access to information and videos and, live streams of these events, it’s like you get to see what other people are doing. And whether or not you, you use that to. Better yourself or not is up to you.

But you know, you see people who are like picking up things from what they see. And just more access. I mean, on YouTube you have tutorials for like every single move that’s out there nowadays. And so you can find somebody, even if you don’t have access to a dance studio or a teacher, you can learn whatever you wanna learn.

So I think there’s a lot of factors outside of just that, but absolutely, I do think that kind of choreographing your rounds helps you to get better and compete on this level faster.

[00:09:05] Jill: So what are some of the moves called, or do you, are they broken down into categories? Like these are on your feet, these are on your hands, these are on your shoulders, or these are on your head?

how do we understand? ’cause really when we look at it, it’s like, well, this is cool, and now they’re on their back and now they’re on their head. But I don’t know what’s more difficult or what, what the judges look at or what they’re looking

[00:09:28] Sunny Choi: for. Mm-hmm. So we typically kind of bucket breaking into a few categories in terms of like the different types of movements we do.

So we have something called Top Rock, and that’s all the dancing that people do on their feet. A lot of times we like start around with Top Rock ’cause it kind of gets you to the center of the floor and you start grooving a little bit. You show, Hey, I know this song, or hey, I can dance. And then we have something called footwork, which is when you have you know, your hands and feet on the floor.

So it’s like this kind of mid-level. And you’ll see a lot of these kind of circular motions on the floor and a lot of [00:10:00] like technical footwork. Um, we have freezes, which that’s when somebody hits a pose. It doesn’t have to be a difficult pose. You can literally just cross your arms and stand there to the music, you know, but you, you wanna do that to the music to kind of accent.

Of year round. Some of them will be difficult, some not. And then we have power moves, which are the, crazy dynamic movements that you see that everyone gets super excited about. And so those are like the kind of traditional categories that breaking, kind of is built on. But how the judges are going to be judging the Olympics is not necessarily on any of those specific categories.

So you don’t have to go there and do a little bit of everything. It’s more of this kind of overarching system that looks at, well, in terms of technical ability. When I’m looking at these two dancers who is doing things that are more technically difficult and executing better, how are they using up the space on the floor?

How musical are they? How creative are they? So there’s these different facets that they’re gonna be looking for that span all of those different categories. And so we as dancers can actually kind of go and do our thing, and as long as you do your thing better than the other person does their thing, ideally, you know, you win that battle.

[00:11:16] Alison: Are there any objective measurements of terms of this move Has this level of difficulty and is objectively viewed as more difficult than this B move?

[00:11:27] Sunny Choi: So the thing about breaking is, I mean, we could break some things down like that because there is an evolution of movement to a degree. But when you get to the, you know, the Olympic level or like the higher levels of breaking people have taken the foundation and you’re supposed to make it your own and create, derivatives and variations that are very unique to you.

And so because of that, it’s actually kind of difficult to say, oh, well this one is much harder than this one. And it’s also kind of based [00:12:00] on your body. Type two, you’ll see. Different people with different bodies move differently. So some movements are easier or more difficult depending on the type of body that you have.

And you even see that difference between like men and women. There’s a, a specific freeze that like people you used to call, like a, quote unquote be girl freeze. Because of the way that a woman’s like center of gravity typically is women would do that version of a freeze and then men often would do another one.

And it just has to do with anatomy. And so I think with breaking, it’s really hard to objectively say, well, this is more difficult than this. And then the next level of that is, and you know, it’s whatever else it is. And then again, with the variations, like the very unique variations that other people make of movement, it’s like, how do you categorize that?

How do you categorize that? And the other piece is you don’t want everyone else to be doing it because you want to be unique. I mean, the whole point of breaking is. It’s a, it’s an art form as well, you know, it’s about creative expression, it’s about exploration. And so you want to do things that feel unique and special to you, but, and they don’t even have to be difficult sometimes.

It’s just like this ingenious thing that you came up with. It’s not difficult at all, but it’s just so genius that that’s what makes it so good, you know? So yeah, in breaking, we don’t have that. But I think that if we were to do that, that would probably kind of really change the way that people danced.

[00:13:20] Jill: Yeah. Because it, it doesn’t seem like there’s, it’s not like say figure skating where you have a point value anything. Mm-hmm. It’s a judge is looking at the whole package. Mm-hmm. And it probably helps them to know you as a dancer and to like see, oh, here’s what we’ve seen Sonny do before. Mm-hmm. And what she can do now

[00:13:41] Sunny Choi: kind of thing.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, for sure. a lot of the judges are judging. I’m assuming a lot of the Olympic judges will have already seen us in a lot of these World Series events and have seen our growth over the years as well and kind of get to know us and the way that we move and things like that. So, yeah, I mean there’s definitely gonna be some familiarity there with the [00:14:00] judges and, and the dancers.

[00:14:01] Jill: When you’re battling, do you have a sense of how well you are doing compared to the other person or no?

[00:14:10] Sunny Choi: Yeah, actually, so a battle is like very much a conversation. When somebody is choreographing their rounds, I think there’s a little bit less conversation happening, but you can still read it on people’s faces.

So sometimes like I’ll throw around and then you can see on the other dancer’s face often where they kind of gauged you at, and then you can tell based on their level how much they’re throwing against you. Whether you did really well, and they feel like, oh, I need to like, throw everything out now because otherwise I’m not gonna win.

Or whether they think like, oh, well that wasn’t that good, so let me save some stuff and I’m just gonna kind of like, take it easy on this round, you know? And so there’s definitely that happening in the background because you get to know, we’re battling a lot of the same people in this circuit, so you get to know them.

Plus, I don’t do a great job with this. I should be studying other people, but they’re studying me so they know my arsenal and they know what’s, what works, what doesn’t. What I do is like safeties and, you know, all of that. And so they can, you can kind of gauge based off of how they react to you, how well you did.

And then additionally, obviously there’s a crowd, but the crowd can be very biased. So depending on where you are that could change as to whether you can actually trust that or not. But sometimes that can be helpful as well as it gauge as to whether you did something really well or not. Is there actual

[00:15:28] Alison: conversation happening during battles?

[00:15:30] Sunny Choi: Sometimes. Sometimes we do talk to each other.

[00:15:33] Jill: And by talk do you mean trash talk? We love the good trash talking.

[00:15:39] Sunny Choi: I’m not known for that, but there’s a lot of people who absolutely, yes, they do that. And I mean, it is a mental game as well. The people who do that, they’re just trying to get in your head and they’re trying to psych you out.

So yeah, you’ll do hear some conversation. We have gestures that like, we all know what they mean in our scene. And so there’s something, [00:16:00] it’s like the bite symbol, which we don’t throw out often, but you basically take your like forearms and like, like trump them together like a mouth. And it means that you’re copying someone else’s movement.

And so when you do something like that, everyone in our braking scene knows what you’re saying to the other dancer. Another thing is if I notice a crash or a slip up, I might tap the floor. That means, you know, you crashed, or we often, I mean, this one’s a bit cheesy, but you’ll like tap on your wrist to be like, Hey, hurry up.

You’re not doing anything. Like you’re wasting time. Get off the floor. And so we have all these little burns and stuff. So like, even if it’s not verbal, there is definitely some non-verbal communication that happens up there.

[00:16:43] Alison: Is there regional differences? Like will an American dancer look very different than a French dancer?

[00:16:49] Sunny Choi: Oh, absolutely. I think there’s obviously gonna be anomalies in people who kind of look like they’re from somewhere else, whatever. But generally speaking, there’s definitely influences in different scenes that affect the way that people dance. For example, I think like a lot of American dancers are actually known for free styling more, and I think part of that comes from breaking, comes from the US and that’s like very much rooted in the culture of breaking and us being so close to where it all started.

It’s like we can’t get away from that. That’s what breaking is for us. Whereas, in let’s say Asia where they’re much more removed, you’re gonna see a bit more of these kind of choreograph sets. Not always the case, of course, but you will see some of that. And then there’s like a very, like, they’re super clean and technical.

A lot of them, especially nowadays, a lot of them are learning in studios and they’re learning from teachers and that’s what they’re teaching over there is be very clean and make sure that your execution is really good. You know, there are some countries that have really, really creative dancers.

there’s a dancer right now. He’s a comes from Kazakhstan and he has this like, very interesting way of [00:18:00] moving that kind of breaks the norm. And I mean, I think, I believe that there are some people in the breaking scene who question like, are you even breaking anymore? But it’s like a, it’s just a very interesting way that he sees breaking and way that he chooses to move.

And he’s battling and, and winning a lot of stuff. So, it definitely like the different countries and I mean, just kind of what’s going on and culturally, socially that affect. The mindset of the breakers that come from there.

[00:18:26] Jill: But it’s so interesting when you talk about very clean, like I was watching your battle against Chinese B girl from world games. Mm-hmm. And that wa you won that, I think it was the semi-finals. Mm-hmm. And you won. And, and she had thrown down some moves.

I’m like, wow, that’s a slick move. That’s a slick move. but I was like, oh, but if you’re really clean, you’d lose some of the soul

[00:18:47] Sunny Choi: almost. Yeah. That’s also a really good observation, is that sometimes breaking almost becomes sterile, like when it’s too clean. You like lose the soul, you lose some of that, like rawness that you get from other dancers who are a little bit looser and just kind of go with the flow.

And that was something I personally struggled with because I’m a perfectionist and I wanted everything to be perfectly clean. And, you know, I moved a bit like a robot and I was completely, I looked soulless. And it’s not that I wasn’t dancing with me, my soul, my heart, but it was just that the choice to make everything so clean made my bricking become less approachable, less I don’t know what word that I would wanna use here, but just it didn’t have that, that essence, that rawness that some other people did.

So that’s something that I’ve kind of been trying to work on, you know, personally. But yeah, it, it is an interesting thing because it. Logically you think you want your movements to be clean and to execute well and kind of, you know, perfect. But there’s a downside to [00:20:00] that, which is exactly that.

You lose some of the essence of like the person when they start doing that.

[00:20:05] Alison: So when we’re saying clean, let’s define what that actually means. Like when you’re, when I know you were a gymnast at one point in your life mm-hmm. Where you have to point your toe and have your hands in mm-hmm. In a particular position.

But what does clean mean for breaking?

[00:20:19] Sunny Choi: Well, there’s this, this is even hard to answer. So when it comes to like power moves, you want your legs to always be like totally straight. And you wanna have like a very wide straddle. If you’re supposed to straddle, if your legs are supposed to be together, they should be together and locked.

When you’re doing footwork, there is particular movements. So there’s something, you know, like I’ll call the hook where in the front. You kind of hook your foot around your ankle. So like my right foot, my right knee would be kind of like around my ankle. You want that hook to be very tight. And you don’t want that to kind of like open up.

And so, there’s little things here and there that we all know is like would be considered clean form, but when you go and you break that and you get some messiness in there, that’s kind of when you get that rawness, right? So it’s about finding the right balance for you. And I think a lot of that is also affected by where you dance.

So I started dancing in Philly and the people around me were very focused on making sure your form was very clean, especially when you’re doing footwork. And so I was always told every step of a six step, which is like kind of our base for footwork, every step of that six step. So should look like you can take a picture in it.

So every single step should be very clean. Every body part, where it should be every single time, and then in, you know, New York also, people are pretty focused on making sure like you’re executing. But in other parts of the world, I don’t know that that’s necessarily what they’re looking for.

And I know people who, while they know the six step is kind of like that base movement for footwork, there are people in other places who, while they know that they have a different foundation for [00:22:00] their footwork, and so because of that, their footwork looks very different from somebody who’s coming from like the northeast here.

So

[00:22:06] Alison: would you change, since you said you’re doing a lot of free styling and competition, would you change how you’re presenting things based on the judging panel and how you see them judging through the round robin?

[00:22:18] Sunny Choi: Technically, yes, I could be adapting my movement to the judges. I personally don’t like doing that because when I think it gets in your head, when you start to try and change up your, your style, your personality, just based off of what the judges are saying I think how I see it is I just need to be better a better me, you know, just do what I do, but up a notch if I’m not doing well.

So I, I, because I see this, I see breaking as a form of self-expression. I don’t necessarily wanna change the way I dance or you know, who I am. Of course, there’s always growth and you’re always learning and you’re changing things and testing things and experimenting. But I wanna do what feels good for me when I’m out there.

And so, you know, if I were to see that they weren’t really liking something, I’d be okay, well, maybe I can do this. But just. Wrap it up, do it better, hit it cleaner, be a little bit more musical, you know, do the things that I already do, but just better. I don’t know. I, I don’t think I’ve really ever tried to change the way I’m dancing too much based off the judging.

It’s ’cause especially in something like the Ron Robin, you only have about a half hour in between your battles. And so in that time you were kind of just recuperating, planning your next round and then just getting in the zone and getting ready to go again. So, that would be a lot to think about.

I think

[00:23:44] Jill: when you talk about improving yourself what kind of things do you work on to, to make those improvements?

[00:23:53] Sunny Choi: That’s a big question. Because it’s not just physical. Mm-hmm. I think because this dance is an exploration [00:24:00] of. Me as an individual. Also, I feel like I am personally working through mental blocks and, you know, childhood trauma, all of this to be able to show up for myself fully when I’m out there.

So like one of the issues I was having for a long time is just not being able to believe in myself. Um, despite having, you know, won various events and having the experience that I have, I still felt like I didn’t deserve to be up there with all these, all these other dancers and that, and I get up there and be like, I can’t beat this person.

You know, I can’t win this. Why am I up here? Why am I even trying? And I think, in some cases, while that kind of mentality of never being good enough really drove me to get where I am today because I was always working so hard to meet this expectation that, you know, honestly I could never meet.

It was kind of like a double-edged sword because on the flip side, I would be up there and I wouldn’t believe in myself. And to go out there and dance with conviction, when you don’t really have conviction, it’s really it’s difficult. And so, you know, that’s been something that I’ve been working on personally, is just learning to value myself.

Learning that I’m, I’m worth it. I’m enough being able to go up there and really believe in myself and all the work that I’ve put in. And like that has actually shown up so much in my dancing. And in the way that I can show up for myself when I’m out there. So it’s crazy that I feel like more than the physical for me, it’s been the kind of mental work that’s helped me to improve my breaking.

I mean, of course I’m still showing up to practice. I’m still kind of flopping around on the floor to try and come up with some new movement that feels interesting to me. Trying to kind of up the technical level of like my power and some of the like, more difficult things that I do. But yeah, I feel like that mental work has definitely made more of a difference than anything else that I’ve done.

What cross

[00:25:55] Alison: training are you

[00:25:56] Sunny Choi: doing? So I work with a strength and conditioning coach [00:26:00] and right now well when I’m in town we work together three times a week. But I’m so often traveling though that gets a bit challenging. And then she also progresses me additional workouts on top of that to do when I’m not with her.

I do hot vinyasa. A lot of that’s mental. I just need that like. Moment to just be me and just be with myself. I choose hot Vinyasa because it’s so hard that my brain just can’t wander and be anxious like it normally does. It’s like if my mom, if my mind wanders when I’m doing hot vinyasa, I’m, I’m falling to the floor or on my face.

So, I do that. It’s also good for my mobility and stretching because, I tell my coaches all the time, but I always forget to stretch and she gets on me about it. But, you know, it’s fine. And then I also practice, but I think in general, like the physical cross training, it’s, it’s just the training with my coach and yoga, which happens once a week, maybe twice.

[00:26:59] Alison: So, speaking of falling to the floor, what, what do mistakes in break dancing look like? I mean, obviously if somebody is hitting a freeze and collapses mm-hmm, mm-hmm. What are the less obvious pieces?

[00:27:12] Sunny Choi: The less obvi. You know what’s funny is there are so many people who go out and dance and like we even describe them as people who, like their styles are made from crashing because they just are, have mastered the art form of falling out of something into something else and making it look nice.

And so it’s actually really hard, I think, for somebody from the outside to, to look at breaking and know exactly when. Dancers are actually falling out of what they do. We often know, because we have seen each other dance before and we have seen somebody hit something really nice, and then if you see them not hit it the next time, but kind of fall into something and then move out of it, you know?

But yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of that happening. So a lot of the times, like if you’re doing a movement where you’re spinning on your head, let’s say, [00:28:00] and then you come out of it, if they come out of it and it looks a little bit heavy, they probably crashed out a little bit. Or if it comes out and it like, doesn’t look super elegant, like, it’s like, oh, did he mean to do that?

Probably not. And so there’s a lot of that kind of stuff happening. I mean, yeah, there are the obviouses where like you’re gonna, if somebody falls on their back, you’re gonna know if it’s intentional or not. But yeah, a lot of these other little slip ups, like the judges will know that it’s happening.

But most of the time, I think to like the average person, it’ll be, it would definitely be hard to pick out, especially ’cause, you know, we’re literally training to, we’re training ourselves to be able to catch these crashes so that we don’t crash on a big stage. Not that it never happens still, but we’re trying to avoid that.

[00:28:46] Alison: Okay. Spinning on your head, where is the strength coming from? Where are you balancing?

[00:28:52] Sunny Choi: I mean, you’re balancing on your head, but, and I actually, I’m a terrible person to ask ’cause I don’t really spin on my head. I only get like, maybe one rotation, maybe a little more if I’m lucky. But it’s actually what I see when people are learning.

A lot of it’s coming from your core because it’s like you can kind of balance head and neck, but when your core is wobbly, ’cause it’s not strong, that’s where you see people kind of wobble and fall over. So a lot of that strength is actually in your core.

[00:29:19] Jill: What moves do you like to do?

[00:29:22] Sunny Choi: I have a wide variety of things that I like to do and it really depends on my mood.

It’s kind of funny because if I go to practice and I’m angry, all I wanna do is power. I just wanna like, like fling my body in circles and throw myself at the floor and do these things that like feel really strong. When I’m happy, all I wanna do is dance. And I’m just like, you know, just music’s on and I’m flopping my arms around and I’m having fun.

I, when I create moves, I like moves that feel good, so I don’t tend to watch myself. Every once in a while I’ll film myself. And nowadays, now that I have to do more social media, I find myself filming myself more, but it’s not my favorite thing.[00:30:00] I think one of my things early on is I didn’t wanna watch myself too much because I didn’t want to make myself dance the way that my brain thought I needed to dance.

I wanted to dance the way that my body naturally moved. And so I don’t like to watch a lot of my movements, but I like to just move and see what feels good. And if it feels good, I start to kind of explore that. And so a, a lot of like my favorite moves are ones that like, have this kind of, almost like melodic.

Feel when I’m doing them because it, ’cause they’re just fun to do, you know? So, yeah, I know it’s hard to describe because I could, I’d have to show you probably some of them to be able to like, go through that. And I mean, the other thing I, I do like to do is power. And part of that’s, you know, I have a gymnastics background, so I love doing things that are defying gravity.

It just makes me feel strong and powerful. So yeah, that would be the other category of movement that I really like.

[00:30:59] Jill: What’s happened to the worm? Where has the worm gone?

[00:31:04] Sunny Choi: I dunno why the worm was ever a thing. I mean

[00:31:09] Jill: it’s the one thing I could do. It’s because we could

[00:31:12] Alison: all do the worm Sonny. We needed no talent for the worm.

That’s why it was a thing.

[00:31:20] Sunny Choi: Right. You know, people do integrate like body rolls into their breaking, but you’ll never see multiple in a row. Although honestly, if anyone did do that, I feel like the judges would crack up and I feel like everybody would love it. So maybe it’s a good idea. Okay. I’m just

[00:31:37] Jill: saying, you know, I old school don’t something to explore.

[00:31:43] Sunny Choi: I’ll go practice that tonight.

[00:31:46] Alison: It does require some core strength. Really get the height on that front part of it. That’s true.

[00:31:52] Sunny Choi: Yeah. Maybe you can do something cool in and out.

[00:31:57] Alison: How much does the music affect what you choose to do?[00:32:00]

[00:32:00] Sunny Choi: the music affects everything. So we don’t pick the song, the DJ picks it.

And well I guess again, this is kind of going back to if you have your round choreographed, it probably doesn’t matter what song comes on, but with me, if it’s a song that I like, I can just let loose, you know, I’m just like, oh, I think I’m gonna end up hitting this thing and then go and just do it because I can kind of trust my body to just have fun with it.

If it’s a song that I really don’t like, I’ll probably jam pack my round with a little bit more content because I’ll have a harder time connecting to the music and like finding those moments where I can like hit the beat or, do like a move to the to whatever beat’s coming up or whatever.

Yeah, I mean, it definitely affects me a lot, but again, that’s very different for all of the individual dancers that are up there, I think.

[00:32:54] Jill: Do you recognize most of the music or sometimes it’s like, oh, here’s something new. And especially I think about with the Olympics, they may or may not have stuff with

[00:33:03] Sunny Choi: words.

Yeah, so, at these events they have kind of like a library of music that is cleared in terms of copyright and licensing. So we’ve heard a lot of it, but the DJs are often creating new music and so we’ll get to a event and sometimes it’ll be a song that I’ve never heard before which is, you know, it can be really good because it’s super exciting when you go out there and you get a beat that’s new and it’s like super dope.

It’s terrible when you walk out there and you don’t know

[00:33:35] Alison: the song and the beat is bad.

[00:33:40] Sunny Choi: That’s like the worst case scenario. If you go out there, you don’t know the song and it’s not good. But yeah, the vast majority of them at this point, we’ve heard them and we’ve danced to them and you know, a lot of these DJs release mixed tapes.

So we practice to those. You know, at local events you’ll hear a lot more like kind of mainstream music or like old school hip hop rap. And [00:34:00] so a lot of that, you know, like we’re familiar with. But yeah, I mean it could happen at the Olympics, so fingers crossed that it’s a good beat.

[00:34:09] Alison: I’m sure you have DJs you like and are not your favorites.

Has there ever been an issue where DJs are accused of influencing the competition?

[00:34:21] Sunny Choi: Um, I think we, we joke about that a lot. I think at the Olympics the DJs will be professional, but like at local events, like we used to joke about how, this is long ago, but there’s this one DJ that had this really dope beat and it was like, like an anthem and he would always play it for his favorite crew and it was just a really good beat to dance to.

And so you just knew that that was coming on if his crew was in the semis or the finals, you know, that kind of thing. But those are like local events and honestly it’s like, it’s funny when that kind of stuff happens ’cause, you know, it’s fine. I think there are times when I’ll go to events and I’m like, oh, this DJ knows this person’s music preference and is definitely playing to it.

But yeah, I think at the Olympics that that shouldn’t or won’t be the case.

[00:35:07] Alison: I’m ready for controversies. I’m like

[00:35:10] Sunny Choi: causing trouble.

[00:35:11] Jill: I

[00:35:11] Alison: realize I’m like asking about judging controversies

[00:35:14] Jill: and well, well, okay, this could be controversial. When a battle starts, it’s who gets in there first, right? It’s not like, oh, you we’re flipping a coin and Sonny’s going first this round, and then that per they, somebody just takes the lead,

[00:35:29] Sunny Choi: right?

Well, actually in the Olympic system, it’s been dictated in the rule book as to who goes first. Really? Yeah. So you know based off of which side that you’re placed on, whether you go first or second, however, so there’s a red and a blue side. The red side is supposed to go first within the first 10 seconds.

If the red side doesn’t go, the blue side can choose to go. So in that first 10 seconds, someone could just jump out there and take the round. So [00:36:00] that has happened before. So actually I think at the World Games that happened, I was supposed to go first, the battle that you were referencing earlier against 6, 7, 1, and she jumped out and took it.

And I was like, ready to go, but she decided to go first go first. And so that’s like an example of like, you can do that if you’re on the blue side. So the blue side has a choice. The red side, if the blue side doesn’t exercise, that choice has to go first.

[00:36:25] Jill: When that happens to you, like what goes through your head?

[00:36:29] Sunny Choi: Well, you know, in a normal battle we don’t decide that, right? And so there’s like a bit of like a standoff that happens. And so that’s what we’re used to. We’re actually not really used to having that already dictated for us. And so that’s actually more like a regular battle when you don’t really know and then someone just jumps out and is like, all right, I’m taking this.

So yeah, it’s like that we’re actually used to okay. That kind of interaction of like, oh, okay, fine, I’ll go second. And I think like, generally speaking, people prefer to go second. That’s why these standoffs end up taking so long in some of the battles. And I think that’s why in the Olympics they said, all right, you’ve got 10 seconds

[00:37:08] Jill: that make the advantage.

[00:37:09] Alison: Yeah. What’s the advantage of going second? Well,

[00:37:12] Sunny Choi: so you can watch and react and you don’t necessarily run the risk of like throwing too much and you can save a little bit if you need to, or you can kind of strategize a bit better as a reaction to what they’re doing. Versus if you’re going first, you’re setting the bar.

And so that’s also, you know, is something that can be good, but I think it’s a bit more risky ’cause you don’t necessarily know what your competitor’s going to do in response

[00:37:38] Jill: is the dictating of. Sides and starting si and who starts. Does that play into the controversy of breaking within the breaking community about the sporting aspect versus the dancing aspect in a way where you go, ah, we’re not sure we wanna be in the Olympics because it could ruin the [00:38:00] community thing.

Does that make mm-hmm. Am I making sense there?

[00:38:02] Sunny Choi: Yeah. I mean, I dunno that it’s necessarily like any one element of the rule book that mm-hmm. People are worried about. I think there’s just a general sentiment around breaking go into the Olympics and what that could do for the, what that could do to harm or kind of take away from the roots of breaking.

Mm-hmm. And kind of where we all come from. The thing is, and I guess how I see it, is that breaking has always had this arm that was competitive. Over the last few years it’s been growing with events like BC one we have undisputed all these like kind of big one-on-ones and, and we do, there are some big crew battles too where they’re on a big stage and they’re these produced events and it kind of has pulled away already from that like community vibe that we have at like local jams where, I mean we still have jams that are outside at a park or outside and some kind of like garden venue or outdoor venue.

They’ll be in bars and all sorts of stuff. Like we still have that. There’s always been that element of competition that kind of lived outside of that that was branching off and kind of pulling away from those community things. And so the Olympics I think will probably do that and pro and take it a step further, so it was already kind of going that way and it was an element of breaking that already existed.

I do understand the sentiment of like, losing the culture and the community because at the end of the day, that’s why we were all drawn to dancing, you know, and that’s why a lot of us stuck with dancing. But that piece is never going to go away. I think there’s concern about them not getting some of the financial benefits that come with the Olympics and stuff like that.

So I think it’s just our responsibility to make sure that we’re, diverting some of that attention to the community and to the people who really deserve it. But yeah, I mean, it’s [00:40:00] definitely a really complicated topic. And there’s a lot of pieces to it, so I think, you know, it’s a lot bigger than just like any specific rule in the rule book, but it’s just this idea of this one specific, it’s a one-on-one format only, which is also only one type of battle that we do going to the Olympics.

To a very specific type of music that is a little bit different from what we normally listen to with a very specific judging system. So, yeah, I think it’s a tough topic to talk about, but definitely important.

[00:40:32] Jill: And it, well, it also seems like then the public, the general public gets an idea that break-in is only this one thing if mm-hmm.

They only see the sporting arm. Mm-hmm. And they could miss the whole rest of the genre,

[00:40:47] Sunny Choi: so to speak. Mm-hmm. Yeah, a hundred percent. But I think the hope is with this new generation is that you, you come and you learn from people in the community who will enforce those things that we love about breaking.

So like recently I was actually just went to like a breaking summer camp and, you know, they broke the kids up into groups and then they had. The kids help each other with the movements. You know, kind of building this sense of community from a very young age and accountability to, to learn these movements together.

It’s like, oh, you’re the best one at it, so why don’t you help everyone else get in your group? You know, like watching that kind of stuff. That’s hopefully what people who get into breaking and say like, Hey, I wanna take a class, or, Hey, I want my kids to learn this. They’ll go to studios.

And that’s the kind of foundation that hopefully they’ll be getting, you know, is all those things that we love about breaking, because they will at the end of the day, have to come back and most likely will learn it from somewhere. There’s gonna be people who probably just watch it on YouTube and practiced at a community center.

But even so, like so many of our practices are at community centers, they’re like large open practices where you’re gonna be dancing with other people from different generations of breaking. And so they’re gonna be exposed to the culture at large anyway. And [00:42:00] so, I think people may start by only knowing that, but I think just by dancing and inevitably being part of this community, you kind of get exposed to everything else.

[00:42:11] Alison: What do you want people to know about it before they watch it in Paris?

[00:42:17] Sunny Choi: I think one of my favorite things about breaking is actually like the diversity that we have in the community. So breaking, you have a lot of people who now start in studios and so you do pay for classes, but technically you don’t really need anything to get started.

You just need some floor and ideally some music, but some people start even without that and you can kind of just like figure it out. And so with that kind of lack of barrier to entry, And like, honestly, I see people with all ability dancing too, which is really cool. I just recently I saw an event and in the finals there was a guy who had one leg who battled against the other person.

He was amazing, you know, and seeing stuff like that it’s really cool. So having, that kind of access to breaking makes it so that the community is really diverse. And so you’ll go to a local event and you’ll see children there with their parents. You see people of all ages, all ethnicities, just the full spectrum, you know, is there in one room together, all sharing this moment, you know, and I mean, even like, language doesn’t really get in the way because we’re dancing and so we’re communicating in a way that you don’t necessarily need to speak.

And then we just have these like nonverbal cues that are like, oh, that’s dope. You know, and you just kinda like, you’re sort of waving your hand. But, um, yeah, so it’s. There’s this beauty in what we do and that you can share in a way with so many different people that we don’t normally get in our everyday lives.

I mean, like, I live in New York and it’s diverse, but when I go to a breaking event, it’s just so much more diversity concentrated in one room. It’s just, it’s so incredible to see and I [00:44:00] absolutely love it. And then on top of that, there’s like this accountability that I’m noticing, more and more where like the older generation will watch out for the younger ones, or they’ll say like, Hey, they’ll, teach them lessons.

Like somebody’s stepping outta line. Like you’ll get somebody pulled aside and you’re like, Hey, you can’t do that. Like they’re kids or, or whatever, so it, it really is a really cool space to be in. Not to say that there aren’t some bad, of course there isn’t everything, but I think that’s one of my favorite things about breaking and one of the things that I find to be just incredibly beautiful about what we do.

[00:44:31] Jill: Speaking of generations, Where in the generations do you lie? Because if I look at your age I go, oh, an old person. we get excited ’cause we are old as well. But I mean, like, there’s, are there still breakers that are in their fifties?

[00:44:49] Sunny Choi: Yeah, actually, and there’s one that, um, he posts videos often and I think he’s like in the sixties and they have, they have battles.

There’s actually a pretty famous battle happens in la it’s called Freestyle Session. And they have an over 40 category and Oh geez, they’re, they’re amazing. They’re still amazing. Over 40, just saying. But yeah, you do have, and even if they’re not necessarily breaking, there’s all, there’s like similar styles of dance that people go and they’ll do and still partake in when they’re older.

But yeah, you see. Older people who, used to break that still come out just to support events and stuff. There’s definitely a lot still out there. I don’t plan to like give up while I might not be breaking like I am today, forever. I’m sure that there’ll be some sort of like breaking in my life into my fifties and sixties, yeah.

[00:45:42] Alison: You’ll be doing the worm Sonny. Yeah. Maybe that’s the

[00:45:45] Sunny Choi: only thing. Maybe too. That’ll be my signature. I’ll do four, four in a row into something really dope afterwards and that’ll be what I’m famous for. Post Olympics. Maybe a

[00:45:58] Alison: little popping lock so [00:46:00] that you know, no, you don’t have to get on the floor too much.

[00:46:03] Jill: Yeah. Oh, excellent. Sonny, thank you so much. Best of luck on your way to Paris. Hopefully we will see you

[00:46:10] Sunny Choi: there.

Thank you.

[00:46:12] Jill: Thank you so much, sunny. You can follow Sonny on Instagram. She is Sonny Choi and on TikTok. She is at Sunny Breaks. I gotta say. This was fun. This was great fun. She is really smart and I love talking with smart people so. Thank you, Sonny. If you like smart interviews with smart people, you should check out our friend Elizabeth Emery over at Hear Her Sports, not just great interviews with sporty women.

She also gets into, elements of conversations that are applicable to life outside sports. So she recently had on Sailor Sarah Douglas, who really talked about taking charge of a goal and going after it in an organized way, and how she used spreadsheets to keep track of everything and coordinated groups of sailors to train with And a group of coaches to help her on her way to the Olympics. So if you are looking for help and examples of how to solve problems in your own life, you might wanna look to the sporting world. And Elizabeth does a great job of looking into those things.

[00:47:18] Alison: And Elizabeth was the brave woman who attempted to teach me how to cycle.

[00:47:23] Jill: Yes, so,

[00:47:24] Alison: so big fan of Hear her sports and her bravery. So along with being a, fantastic podcast host, she tried to get it to work, but we, we won’t talk about so close. Yeah. So close

[00:47:36] Jill: and yet, so far. Next time. Next time. So yeah, check her, check out. Hear Her sports@hearhersports.com or dial it up on your podcasting app that you’re listening to right now.

Seoul 1988 History Moment

[00:47:46] Jill: That sound means it is time for our history moment all year long. We are talking about Seoul 1988 as it is the 35th anniversary of [00:48:00] those games. Annalee, our lovely intern, has a follow-up from last week. Annalee, talk to us. What do you got?

[00:48:06] Annalee Deabel: Thank you Jill and Alison. First off, I’d like to thank Patrick of Chicagoland for sending us some clips of the BJ Ill controversy. One of the videos he sent, he said to us was a more detailed description of the beyond Gen Ill fight. And it also shows a more detailed video of the protest where he is sitting in the ring for 67 minutes.

But the most interesting thing is you get to see in the video, when he sits down, you get to see all the lights turned off and him sitting in the room.

And in the B B C interview, which is another video that our good friend Patrick sent, he talked about trying to push one of the Korean coaches out of the ring because he saw one of the Korean coaches try to get into the ring to talk to him about the score. Keith Walker says he felt calm at first, but as the situation started to escalate, started to feel unsafe. Guarded room. Walker was able to watch the footage of the attack after being escorted by police out of the ring, and an article by the age, which showcases a more detailed description of what he watched on the footage.

He says he felt that his wording of head to budding was a good move. He quoted I could have disqualified him in the second round when he and , his coach and assistant coach came out onto the apron of the ring. I did the right thing and look what happened. It’s a disaster for Bachi. For boxing after the fighting in 25 years of referee and Keith Walker decided to quit his job as a referee.

He is currently chairman of Boxing New Zealand’s and honorary Vice President of the International Boxing Federation. Unfortunately, I could not find any information on if Keith Walker went to the hospital, although I would assume he would’ve had to due to the extent of his injuries.

[00:49:55] Alison: Yeah, I would’ve quit too.

[00:49:56] Jill: seriously. well, thank you Annalee, [00:50:00] and thank you Patrick, for sending those links along. We will put links to the video and this really cool audio interview in the show notes along with Annalee’s article that she found as well. what a story. What a story. Yeah.

[00:50:14] Annalee Deabel: Thank you again, Patrick, for sending us

[00:50:15] Jill: the videos.

moving on to our regularly scheduled story. It my turn for a moment and we have not gotten into the pool yet, so I wanted to start talking about the swimming competition.

I don’t know about you, Alison, but what I remember swimming 19 eight was Janet Evans everywhere. Yes. Okay. So Janet Evans was a distant swimmer and she won golds in all three of her events. But what about the sprints, right? Oh yeah. The a hundred meter freestyle Americans. ’cause that’s obviously we were getting the very American angle of the Olympics here.

Americans could pin their help on a woman who was competing in her second Olympics. One Dara Torres. Oh my goodness. Right. But sadly, Dara was not a factor in the a hundred meters. She finished seventh or. Dara was not a factor in the a hundred meter free. She finished seventh in that race. But if you really honest, honestly, I don’t know why we don’t remember this story, and I, I would love to go back and see NBC’s coverage of it.

If you were looking at women’s sprints in the pool, there was one name who cleaned up almost all of the gold medals. It was the first time a woman would win six gold medals in any sport at an Olympics. A mark that hasn’t been matched or beaten since. And unlike Mark spits before her and Michael Phelps after her, she won gold medals in three individuals strokes.

She did two freestyle events. She did the 50 meter, which women swam for the first time at Seoul. The a hundred meter free plus butterfly and backstroke spits and Phelps only did freestyle and butterfly. Now, Phelps also did individual medleys, but those really [00:52:00] kind of hinged on his butterfly and his.

Freestyle skills. This woman also got gold in two relay events and had women had a four by 200 meter freestyle relay event to swim and compete in at Seoul. She perhaps would’ve tied Spitz’s record. How could this feature have happened? She was East German.

[00:52:21] Alison: Um, oh.

[00:52:22] Jill: We are talking about Kirsten Otto, who was the heavy favorite going into Seoul, who delivered on all accounts.

Otto had been a star since the 1982 World Championships, and likely would’ve been at LA 1984 if it weren’t for the Soviet LED boycott. In late 1984, she cracked a vertebrae and was in a neck brace for nine months. Doctors advised her to give up sports, but she refused and continued to dominate in the pool.

At Seoul, she was six feet tall, about 170 pounds.

William Gilia in the Washington Post wrote. She looks, she cuts through the water like a power boat. But what she didn’t do was test positive for drugs and we all never Wow. Because you know how it was the East German and the big doping campaign, if they were doping and they would do their own testing.

If they were testing positive, suddenly they were sick. Right and didn’t compete, remember, but she competed everywhere and she never tested positive. So she was also surprised at her success and Sports Illustrated quoting her as saying quote, I didn’t come here with a plan to win many gold medals, just one or two.

I’m happy. And quite frankly, astonished. Yeah. In a 2022 retrospective article in Swimming World Magazine editor John LA wrote that Wolfgang Richter, east German head coach at Seoul said Otto’s mental toughness was a major factor in her success. She’s the best because she works harder than the rest.

Richter said she’s tough in the mind. She cannot stand to lose. please tell me that no other swimmer [00:54:00] works hard. I

[00:54:01] Alison: really hate when. Coaches say things like, you have to want it more. You have to work. Really, all Olympic athletes want it and work really

[00:54:11] Jill: hard. Right. Co commentators too. She just wanted it more.

She just wanted it more. She’s bringing 110%. Of course, once the German CRA did, of course, once the German Democratic Republic fell and the state sponsored doping program came to light, many athletes talked about their experiences with it, but not auto.

Her response was that she never knowingly took drugs and never had a positive test, and she was one of the most tested athletes in the world. But the paper trail, I was just, that’s what I was gonna ask you. Oh. But the paper trail did catch up with her. Otto’s name was on a list of those supplied with anabolic steroids.

She. Still denies she knew anything about this. Rika Reish, a three-time gold medalist at Moscow, 1980, who admitted to doping, has publicly criticized Otto for her lack of admission, saying when she claims she cleaned up in soul without taking anything, then I can only say she didn’t win. Six golds by drinking buttermilk is buttermilk banned.

I don’t think so. Oh, okay. Maybe because that list of banned drugs is pretty long. Yeah, right. So Otto is in the International Swimming Hall of Fame, but now there is a doping disclaimer next to her display. It’s very hard. Whoa. Sorry. No, go ahead. Go ahead.

[00:55:33] Alison: It’s very hard to have East German swimmer and not immediately think doping.

[00:55:38] Jill: Isn’t it sad? Yeah.

You know, if you wanted a triple dose of soul this week, you should check out our Facebook group because listener Manu posted an amazing soul story Which I, al manu. I almost took that and made it my soul story for this week. But if you wanna know it, [00:56:00] you should go check out the Facebook group even if that’s the only thing you join in Facebook.

Keep the Flame

[00:56:05] Alison: Alive Podcast.

TKFLASTAN Update

[00:56:07] Alison: Welcome to Shuk Stan.

[00:56:13] Jill: Our athlete, Shuk, Stanis have been very quiet lately. This is true and I

[00:56:17] Alison: realize we need more swimmers and we need more water people because that’s been the big. Events the past couple weeks is everything with the aquatics world Championships

[00:56:26] Jill: exactly.

But luckily our listener shook Stanis have been busy. Belatedly superfan, Sarah went to the Volleyball Nations League final. Patrick from Chicagoland saw the Core Hydration Classic, which the, which is known the gymnastics tournament that Simone Biles made her come back at. And then listener David also covered a Liv Golf Tournament near him.

People have been busy. People have been busy, and they all looked like really cool events. So thank you to all of you for sharing that in our Facebook group. If you go to something, let us know. Even if you’re not in the Facebook group and you go to something cool, let us know. And don’t forget to wear your Keep the Flame Alive gear. Find that@flamealivepod.com.

Paris 2024 News

[00:57:06] Alison: Peo.

[00:57:13] Jill: Peo Paris has also been quiet, although it is, it’s August, so my guess is that some of them might be on vacation. Everyone’s on vacation.

There was an open water swimming World Cup event in the sun that was gonna be a test event was postponed for at least 24 hours because of unacceptable water quality in the river. Okay, here’s the deal with this. Heavy rains cause overflows of untreated waste into the river.

I don’t know about you by where you live, but I live by Lake Erie. This happens all the time. This is not anything unusual because what happens is you have old sewers or outdated water treatment methods, and so there’s a lot of overflow that goes into your local body of [00:58:00] water.

It clears out after a few days because. It just dissipates, but sometimes there’s a little period of time, and I, I believe the Paris 2024 schedule has some build in time if they need to move things around. If it rains again. The city is spending a ton of money on water management projects that should ease some of these problems.

The, that includes a giant underground reservoir that would hold excess storm water and doesn’t do. Runoff and they can treat it later. But yeah, this was a thing.

[00:58:29] Alison: World triathlon also announced it has a plan B if during the Olympic schedule, the sun is not clean enough or safe enough for the swimmers.

So the planners are dealing with this, I think it’s they move the race to a different section of the sun that doesn’t get the same level of runoff that you get in the center of the city. So we’re addressing this. They’re not ignoring it. We’re not gonna put swimmers at risk. It’s gonna be fine. But as we know, this may be one of the stories we talk about.

If it rains in Paris during the Olympics, all of a sudden everyone’s gonna be concerned that the sun is dirty again.

[00:59:13] Jill: Right? But honestly, if it rains, just. The media’s gonna have a field day with this because they’re just gonna go nuts over the fact that the sun never got, didn’t get as clean as they said it was gonna be, and that swimmers can’t swim for a couple of days.

I think we need a game. I don’t think it necessarily should be bingo because it can’t be one of these. If you see a mention of X event. You get to cross it off on your Bingo card because there’s just gonna be a ton of mentions.

[00:59:43] Alison: Right? And we have opening ceremony bingo. Right. Which the Center Square, I think needs to now be imagine, because that’s almost guaranteed.

But and we talked about this a little bit with Ken Hanscom last night. What’s gonna be the story like Zika.[01:00:00] That just, and before Covid at Tokyo, it was the heat, that one environmental thing that just proves to the world that the Olympics are not viable anymore.

[01:00:12] Jill: Right, right. So if you’ve got theories of what kind of game we could have, or the stories that will be blown out of proportion or maybe not the big stories.

Let us know maybe we, or how to play that game. We’d love to hear what you do. ’cause I can tell you we’re gonna be talking about this media, the media coverage of these issues a fair amount

[01:00:32] Alison: because we’re not gonna get to watch Mike and Maya commercials.

[01:00:35] Jill: That’s true.

Makes me sad. We’ll just

[01:00:39] Alison: re-watch that Mike and Maya

[01:00:40] Jill: commercial. That’s right.

I think it’s time for me to go do that now. So that is gonna do it for this week. Let us know what you think of break and being on the Olympic program.

[01:00:49] Alison: You can let us know on Twitter and Instagram at Flame Alive Pod. Email us at Flame Alive pod@gmail.com.

Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it. Be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group on Facebook, and don’t forget to get our weekly newsletter filled with other fun stories about this week’s episode. You can sign up for that at our website, flame alive pod.com.

[01:01:20] Jill: One last thank you to our intern, Annalee Deabel.

It’s our last show with us, and we’ve been so thankful to have you all summer. All your help has been so great, and we hope you have a wonderful year at College. Annalee next week listeners, we will have a voice you may recognize conversation coming with commentator Blythe Lawrence, about rhythmic gymnastics.

Thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep the flame alive.