The 2022 World Games, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Photo: IWGA Flickr.

Episode 246: World Games 2022 – Week 2 Listener Call-In

Release Date: July 22, 2022

Category: Podcast | World Games

We’ve been mesmerized by the last week of the World Games (and not just by how many American Idol contestants have come from Alabama), so we’ve got more of the action from Birmingham 2022, including thoughts on the artistic gymnastics disciplines we wish were in the Olympics, feed replay beefs and what could possibly be the deal with the mascot of the 2025 World Games.

Plus, we open the phone lines to hear from our listeners who watched and/or went, and we learn just how hot it was in Birmingham, what the sumo controversy was like in person, and how World Games compares to an Olympics.

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

Photo: IWGA Flicker


Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript. It contains errors. Please do not quote from the transcript; use the audio file as the record of note. If you would like to see transcripts that are more accurate, please support the show.

Jill: [00:00:00] Hello, fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive. The podcast four fans of the Olympics in Paralympics, and today the World Games. I am your host. Jill. Jarris joined as always by my lovely co-host Alison brown, Alison.

Hello, have you come down from dancing on the ceiling

Alison: all night long?

I have to start with an apology to the inci in the, to the entire city of Birmingham. Because on Instagram, I, I posted something about my confusion about Vulcan and Vesta. And, and does that say Alabama to you? Well, I got schooled

Jill: whoa.

Alison: I got schooled about the industrial history of Birmingham and how they have a Vulcan statue.

So I formally apologized to the city of Birmingham. I, I was not making fun of your history. I was making fun of giant foam, gray

Jill: mascots. And, I have to say they did grow on me as the week went on and still definitely did.

Alison: I loved that toothy grin she had.

Jill: Yeah. And I really liked once I learned about the history a little bit more and the Volcom statue, I loved the fact that that’s what the little gift was.

It’s very Birmingham. When the, the winners look at it, they’ll be transported back to this place. Birmingham played well on TV. I mean, some of the venue areas were really cool looking. So I was very impressed with that and it was just a fun games.

And what we are having today is one of my new favorite show formats for us. It is a listener call and show. And we have taken a whole bunch of calls from listeners and just great conversation about what, they thought of these games. And especially since we are such an Olympics and Paralympics focused show how this played to our little hearts, take a listen.

Alison: Hi, it’s Jill and Alison from Keep the Flame Alive.

Listener Don: Oh, it’s Don from Massachusetts long time.

Jill: How are you?

Listener Don: Well, the time it worked out well for me, cuz I am on my way to pick up my daughter from her daily gymnastics practice.

Alison: And how is she doing with

Listener Don: it? She is great. Great, great, great. It’s been a, a great summer of moving up to a new level and learning new skills that we would all recognize from television, which is

Alison: kinda neat. Fantastic. Now, did she watch any of the tumbling or the acrobatics?

Listener Don: We hadn’t been able to do that yet.

Summer is kinda a weird time around here. Four, our practices every day. And

just trying to get through the day, we haven’t had a chance to sit down and do that. We’ve been busy with other things, but we did watch the, triple women’s last night after practice, which was really exciting. Cause she’s actually interested in learning triple jump from a, a thing that they did at the end of the school year.

So it was nice to be able to find some of that on television live and have my kid get engaged in it. And I, live sport that wasn’t the one that she actually does, all the thing

Alison: and the world’s athletic championships have been very exciting and a lot of fun. And this weekend was a little crazy for us.

Listener Don: Yeah, definitely. You guys are all over the place watching all sorts of things. I’m sure.

Jill: Right. I didn’t know which end was up. Go ahead Jill. Oh, I was gonna say I’m trying to pull out the results cause I, I actually did catch a little bit. I, I caught the end of the triple jump competition. And I’d forgotten how amazing ,

Alison: oh, they are really Rojas. Is that who you’re thinking of?

Listener Don: Yeah. Roja.

Jill: Venezuela. Yeah. Yes. Oh my gosh. She’s just so amazing at the triple jump. And it was just really cool to watch her and, I do wanna get a triple jumper on the show cause that’s the timing of that and trying to stretch farther in your jumping. The technique is really what I wanna understand.

Listener Don: Yeah. Yeah. I was really interesting. Used to because I’ve never, I used to watch long jump a lot, but never really tripled up them. This is the first time I really thought about the whole, the stress that must be on their. And the balance and timing was evolved. One of the athletes, I forget what it was.

This might have been thera. She kinda rolled her ankle at one point and had bail out jump. And it was just like another one of those little details you don’t necessarily think about straightforward, you straight, straight, straight event. You don’t necessarily think that there is [00:05:00] a little bit of wheel room in the left to the right.

You gotta compensate. So, so it was, it was really fascinating and Roja is quite the

Jill: understanding. Oh yeah. Yeah. I loved how she got the crowd going for her. That was great.

Alison: Right. So in that event, Shaneika Ricketts from Jamaica. Got the silver and Tori Franklin from the us was the bronze. Yeah,

Listener Don: she was great.

Alison: Yeah. And the American crowd has been so, team USA, but not to the detriment of others. Like they seem to be cheering who’s ever really

Listener Don: good. Yeah. Well, yeah. I think it’s one of those things where. They claim, they always like to claim that, oh, this is the most educated crowd in the sport. Yeah. They say, say that about Yankee fans, which I think

Alison: careful, careful

Listener Don: I’m a Yankee fan.

So yeah. It’s alright. But I think that’s, that’s sort of the reput that they have out in Oregon. They know all these people and they know who’s good and they know what they’re seeing. So yeah, it’s, it’s been a great fun thing to watcher. I can’t believe she’s everybody. And yeah, men sleeping hundred meters in the us and the women’s hold all.

It’s all been great.

Alison: Right. And, and your daughter should definitely keep an eye on Shelly in Frazier price, just because she’s so tiny.

And I’m sure if your do you know, knowing your daughter’s a gymnast, they can absolutely take a look at the, the pocket rocket and say, wow, I can do that too.

Listener Don: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it it’s been really fun pointing out how strong all the women are and that’s good encouragement for any, young female athlete at this point, Don

anyway That’s all I got on track and field, but give you guys a call cause I haven’t been able to do it yet. And Aw. And I’m so grateful for everything that you have done over so many years.

Jill: Aw, thank you so much. Thanks for calling. Thank you.

Listener Don: And, and good luck. And can’t wait to hear it. All right.

Jill: Thank you. Bye bye. Bye.

Alison: So Book Club Claire has been out in Eugene. Yes. And she posted videos that your favorite little car.

Jill: I see the videos

Alison: has returned. So the little car, it is not quite branded the same way it was in Tokyo. You don’t have like the little ambulance or the little Tokyo van, but it does collect the shot, put and bring it on

Jill: back.

I am very excited about that. I know I do wanna go back and watch the men’s shop, put competition. I did see some of the women’s shop put, I think they find that peacock finally put up different streams for throws and for jumps and for running. And that’s about time.

Alison: Can we talk about feed beefs from World Games?

Jill: Oh, sure.

Alison: So the biggest feed beef I had was on the Olympics website. They had events and you could replay them.

Great. Mm-hmm so many of the playbacks would not work. No. We cannot play this at this time. Playback, experiencing technical difficulty, opening ceremonies. Most of the tumbling it’s like I could watch jujitsu if I didn’t watch it live.

Jill: Oh, you’re kidding.

Alison: So all those playbacks and I did it over a couple of days because when we talked last time I had missed the opening ceremonies and I said, oh, it’s on, it’s on these playbacks.

And I tried for three days and I still couldn’t get it to playback. I tried different computers and different browsers. So it wasn’t me. It was

Jill: them. That is frustrating. I also didn’t realize that you have like an a nine to 11 minute window where you could go back because during the tumbling, in one of the intermissions, they were showing the audience dancing.

There was this girl who was the cutest thing. She was dancing, like nobody was watching and then saw somebody was watching and her, she just kind of stopped and her eyes bugged out.

Alison: I saw her, she was so adorable and then she waved a little bit, but she did not wanna be on the jumbotron.

I think that was at the women’s doubles acrobatics.

Jill: They had the trio, sorry. Oh, was the trio. Yeah. And, and yeah, the, the them, the women’s trio and the men’s pairs, but she was just so adorable.

Alison: so, which, which leads me to my next question for you.

Mm-hmm. Are you a base or are you a flyer?

Jill: Oh, I’m a total base. See,

Alison: I’m a total flyer. We are ready. when can I start doing handstands on your

Jill: head? I was just gonna say, let me get my next strengthened up and okay. So I do wanna know who came up with the idea of one guy says to another guy, Hey, how about you do a one armed handstand on my head while I sit down and stand up and maybe do the [00:10:00] splits too.

And maybe you can move your body around and do the splits and angle it in all sorts of fun ways. And this will be a sport

Alison: what’s so interesting to me is when I was in gymnastics as a kid, it was artistic gymnastics. That was it. That’s all the options were having seen all these other disciplines. I’m so amazed.

And I wish I had known about them, the double trampoline, the aerobics, the acrobatics, because it’s the same. If you love tumbling, if you love vault, if you there’s so many places to go also made me think. I think the Olympics may have the wrong gymnastics disciplines in them.

Jill: Well, you say that diplomatically.

I say, get rid of rhythmic, put in tumbling. Oh my gosh. That was exciting.

Alison: I, and I think the reason is because the fig, the gymnastics Federation is so Eurocentric and rhythmic gymnastics is so Eurocentric and tumbling and doubles trampoline, a doubles trampoline or not.

Jill: Yeah, they were more global.

Alison: Yes. A lot more South Americans.

Australians, New Zealand was in the finals. Nice go Silver Ferns. And she did very well. I think

Jill: she got the silver and hopefully a Fe go silver

Alison: Fern, and much easier to understand. Yes.

Jill: And. Much easier to see why it’s a sport. I’m sorry, rhythmic gymnastics. Because I think of it more as an of an art, but seriously tumbling.

I mean, because the story that I know, and I, I think I’m correct in that rhythmic gymnastics is in to give equal number of medals between men and women in the gymnastics

Alison: sport. Correct? Because men have more apparatus in artistic

Jill: gymnastics. Yes. However, no artistic gymnast is doing rhythmic to get the extra two medals and vice versa.


Alison: it’s gender equity of medals, but it doesn’t actually create gender equity in the sport. No,

Jill: no, because one man could still potentially win all six medals and one woman could not win six medals. She could either win four medals or two medals. If you’re doing individual, whatever, I, I know I’m getting the count off because there’s team event and all around and blah, blah, blah, but there’s, there’s whatever number of medals there’s.

But by golly, you could get an artistic gymnast to do a tumbling pass. I’m sure they would love

Alison: that. And I’m also wondering why the particular trampoline event that’s in the Olympics versus what they call double trampoline. It’s sort of like vault, but without the horse and with the trampoline.

Jill: Right.

Cause I saw like one or two of these, like just in a, in clip montages. So I went, what did they do for trampoline? And haven’t gotten a chance to go back to it because that looks kind

Alison: of cool. So what you do is it’s a, a ramp shaped trampoline with a flat side. So there’s a flat part and a ramp part. You bounce on the ramp part.

You do a flip you land on the. Flat square part, and then you do a dismount. So it’s basically doing a Mount and a dismount. So you do two tricks,

Jill: which is also kind of cool and relatable to artistic in a way that trampoline is not

Alison: and easy to understand and not much scoring controversy because again, each trick has a difficulty score and then there’s an execution score.

It’s there was no discussion of scoring controversies this whole time. I didn’t hear any gymnastic scoring controversies at the World Games.

Jill: Huh? did you watch rhythmic?

Alison: I did watch rhythmic. Oh, and nothing there.

It seemed well, the Russians weren’t there ,

Jill: as I was saying that I was like, well, the, the arenas weren’t there.

And that may be where half of the controversies come from big

Alison: powerhouse in rhythmic. That’s emerging Israel, they won the gold medal in Tokyo and wow. Do they have a bunch of young kids coming up? Just looking amazing. Going back to gender equity. Can we talk a little bit about softball?

Jill: Yeah, we can talk about softball.

Alison: Okay. So the World Games has softball. They had the women’s softball match. The gold medal match was a rematch from Tokyo between USA and Japan. USA team has turned over a lot. A lot of those players who had stuck around for 12 years [00:15:00] were gone. Some were still, there was a fantastic game. The crowd was.

listener Britney was there and said it was the fullest stadium she saw at any event. And it got me thinking, why is softball hamstrung to baseball when it comes to Olympic inclusion? Why can’t we have softball without having baseball?

Jill: Is it that one Federation needs to provide men’s and women’s at this point, which I, I mean, then you can go, Hey, artistic swimming, what’s up with you.

But maybe that’s something I’m writing down. Maybe that’s part of the rules of getting into the Olympics now is that it has to be gender equal. And then the problem is that world baseball is not the same as world softball,

Alison: right? I mean, because baseball has. The major leagues in the United States and they have a major league in Japan.

Olympic baseball is never going to be the best baseball you see in the world, right? We’ve taught, had this conversation about soccer as well, that we want the Olympics to be the pinnacle for that sport. But if you have softball, it would be, and you’ve got a lot of countries coming up with some pretty good teams, USA, Canada, Japan.

It was very competitive in Tokyo. And certainly in the past we’ve had many men’s sports that do not have a women’s sport equivalent nor to combined. So why can’t we have a women’s sport that clearly is popular in a lot of places in the world and would continue to grow. And, and was such a hit in Tokyo.

I mean, what great competition that was and what great competition again at the World Games.

Jill: Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, I, that game, they actually showed on TV here in the states. So it was on CBS sports. I did catch some of it, but the crowd was electric. The play was phenomenal because it really was. I mean, the us scored all their runs on one, hit one incredible hit and they held Japan just to a couple.

Oh, we’ve got another call. Mm-hmm hi, it’s


Alison: Alison from keep the flame alive.

Listener Patrick: Hold. This is Keep the Flame Alive. Yes. Who is this?

Listener Brian: My name is Brian Carberry.

Alison: Oh,

Jill: Brian,

Alison: don’t be so shy about it. Brian. We’re you’re part of the family.

So how was, how was your trip to Birmingham?

Listener Brian: Had a good time. I’d been to Birmingham before kinda



Jill: yeah. So bur is Birmingham’s going through a little revitalization. Process, right.

Listener Brian: It’s

Listener Patrick: it’s definitely

Listener Brian: seems like a city kinda where they’ve done a lot of revitalization of the downtown and east Alabama area where some of the, I guess industrial sites have condos and bars. You’ve cities know, it kinda neat to see that was very hot in Birmingham.

So I was very happy to transition thes

It to around, you close to one another and unlike the Olympics where there’s often logistical, things with parking and transportation and long lines to get through security and, you have tickets and you have to plan in advance. I think the fact that it was, well attended, but not, events were sold out.

It was kinda very easy to just drive to a venue. And then if it ended, you could look at the schedule and say, well, this place is only about a mile away or even across the street. And I can’t there and buy a ticket on my phone and go to that event if I wanna. So I found it very accessible compared to most Multisport events I’ve ever been in terms of the proximity of a lot of the venues and the ability to kinda just go from one place to another.

And I think some of that was just smaller than things like the Olympics in terms of people attending and so forth. But, it was also a lot of the events were very close


Alison: So did you discover something you didn’t know you were gonna love?


Listener Brian: my thought process was to try to go to events that.

Had a long history like squash or billiards or tug war. And that, I thought, have been around for a long, long time, but I kind of enjoyed, [00:20:00] seeing some stuff. I went to billiards on a bit of a LA and it was kind of interesting. I didn’t anything about pool when I got there, but I wound up sitting and it was sort of the table in front of me.

And I found this was true at a lot of events. And this happened also at beachball, which I kinda is light team handball, but different where you sit down people around you kind of, when you’re first, there are saying things like, do you know anything about this event or how it works or what the rules are?

Have you ever seen this before or played it? And usually within five or 10 minutes, we’ve determined that each of us knows maybe something about it, but not very much and are mostly just there to see what it’s about. And what I loved about it was, within 10 minutes of most events, Tell you were watching world class parti practitioners of these events.

Like it took me a minute to figure it out. Like it’s a billiard, but once I figured out what they were doing in pool, it didn’t take me long to realize these guys are really good at this. And I think that’s one of the more beautiful things about, go into something like this with them, where you can see just people who have mastered their craft for sports.

Alison: Now, were you at the billiards game for soda gate?

Listener Brian: I was apparently I was, and I vaguely remember hearing someone open a soda, but it seemed like that that venue was extremely quiet, almost that’s quiet, but there was also this aspect of

where you had nine ball and you had Snook and all going on at the same time.

And these are different events that. Different amounts of time. So for example, I remember the nine ball ended and people were clapping and a lot of people were there to see that cause that’s, you knows most people were getting

to that point announcer and was an announcer of, I said, please be quiet going on there. I do recall at one point being someone, it sounded like, periodic would drop something on ground in the Bleacher, or I do vaguely recall someone opening, I guess, was ADA. After the fact after I saw y’all post about it and phone went off, I know came over to the

about do not, live streaming this on or on any social media. And so. It seemed like that was just part of a bigger thing of

decorum. No one or time I thing guard, apparently they complained about it, but what we do, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t drinking

Alison: soda. We, we do appreciate all the things that you streamed of people cleaning the squash court

Listener Brian: oh yeah. I it, it was great. I mean, it,

what I loved about it is after each match, there was about a 15 or 20 minute break between like, the bronze metal match for women.

And there was maybe a 20 minute break and then a bronze metal match for women and so on and so forth through the metal round. And between each one, it almost a team of cleaners. And, and so just descend on this throughout the people are slamming against the wall and you’re and so forth. And, there’s falling on the ground and people wiping their hands against the glass, touching the glass and, run into it and so forth.

And so it was like this army of wind and towels that came out between each one. So that was great. And I thought, definitely that would be the volunteer job for the cleanerst us.

Jill: You got to go to flag football. What was that like in person?

Listener Brian: Well, that was one of those

ones where I,

that way. Because the collegian field was only about a mile away from where they had the tug of war or maybe two miles. And it wast easy just to drive right to the stadium and walk in. I think the thing that surprised me the most, or was how small the field is relative to this is a large, college football stadium in the Southeast United States.

And there were like two football on one American football size field. So that kinda, took me aback at first. And, there might have been several thousand people at the event. Of course it doesn’t look that way. Cause the stadium holds, tens of thousands of people. But certainly a very pro American crowd, a [00:25:00] lot of people in the crowd, very into the sport.

I got the feeling, a lot of people there had kids or were kids who played, I understand this youth know youth football is what people play until like the middle school, high school level in a lot of areas of the country. So there was a lot of understanding of the game support. Lot of people, there were very behind NFL had a big presence.

There, there were a lot of people there that looked like or were involved in some way within NFL. I know they were trying to promote this game heavily, that heavily, which kinda was part of the other aspects of the World Games in general, where you kinda had to feel you’ve number of type, like.

Had a bit of a trade show aspect, where there’s the event going on on the field? There’s the athletes competing, the camaraderie, which you see at things like the Olympics or, in the past the Goodwill games or other events I’ve been to, but there was also sort of what you see on the sidelines in the stands and a little bit as you were going about town of people, trying to actively promote, put on a show and show, look, we as a Federation or we as an organization can bring together this and put this product on the field and this the Olympics, and kind of trying to sell the program.

If you will, and flag football, I got a very strong vibe that a lot of that was going on around me. So particular.

Where there’s a lot of opportunity here. And I felt like that was what was going on at a lot of sports throughout the game. So that was something that was interesting and different about, these games that, I don’t know that I knew a lot about, but was glad to go and see some of the events and learn about them.

Alison: Yeah. Flag football is making a big push for LA 20, 28. So that makes sense.

Listener Brian: Oh yeah, they were, they definitely were there.

Jill: Now listener, Brittany was also at the gold medal games for flag football and thought that the game suffered a bit from lack of real competitiveness, because you could really tell that the us men were, and the Mexican women were just dominant and there’s not a ton of competition.

Did you feel the same way?

Listener Brian: Well, I did. And certainly in the game before that I know in the women’s bronze middle game was a bit of a blowout through the first half. It felt like that the team that won the bronze just was kind hanging on, they built a big lead. And I think that’s true to a certain extent.

That was something that I think is an issue with a lot of the sports that are at the world where there’s maybe threes that are like participating high level it’s or countries. And when you buying for the fifth and sixth place, the seventh and eighth place, there’s a noticeable and very big dropoff in the level of competition.

I do know when I went to the ball, it seemed like the bonds medal games were both relatively blowout relative to the gold medal games, which were both for the men extremely. Hard fought affairs right down to the very last second. And I think that’s something that’s true of a lot of the sports and maybe something that keeps some of them from moving on to the Olympic level or, to another level from where they are in the World Games right now.

Jill: Yeah. That makes me think, I think ball was another one that’s like that where the finals were. I think it was Netherlands and Belgium again, and, Germany was fighting it out for third place, but I think Thai Chinese Taipei won the bronze medal and it’s just kind of like, oh, where are these countries that we can try to get involved in these other sports to, to spread them around?

Because otherwise it does, it just becomes regionalized. And it’s not interesting on a world level.

Listener Brian: Right. I mean, I think lacrosse was like that it was USA versus Canada. USA versus Canada and, in north and not so much in parts of the, that sports and flag Europe,

people who are, raised and played football in the United States and youth, but, through dual citizenship or marriage later in life, or now citizens, or have citizenship in both countries, there were a lot of players on teams like that as well. Excellent.

Alison: Well, thank you so much, Brian, for all those photos, they were fantastic.

Listener Brian: Well, it’s good. And I’m, I’m really happy to share that. I kind of spent a lot of my youth in that area of the country. So, it was good. I, I actually went to the [00:30:00] Olympics at leg when they had there in 1996. So good to bring that around and see the flag there all these years later. And, and I’m glad, I know some other listeners were there and were able to post, and I’m glad people gotta go to a lot of different things and wanted to say, also that I thought there was a year, but I thought Birmingham did a really good job of pulling off these.

And a lot of the business I very positive overall, I think was a very positive experience for the athletes that came and, and I enjoyed it and it was a lot more than I expected. So it was a very positive experience all around.

Jill: Excellent. Well, thanks. Yeah. Thanks for making our experience at home. More positive as well with all of the stuff you let us know and, thanks for being my breaking buddy.

Listener Brian: Yep. Breaking. Breaking is breaking. enjoy it for what its

Jill: all. Brian, thank you so much. Good evening. Thank you. You too. Thanks Brian. Bye-bye

Alison: bye. Hi, it’s Jill and Alison from keep the flame alive.

Who’s this?

Listener Patrick: This is Patrick. Hi Patrick. Hi

Jill: Patrick. Oh,

Listener Patrick: doing well. Alison doing well. So you,

Alison: so thanks are going back. You got yourself around to everywhere in Birmingham.

Listener Patrick: Yeah, it, it was fun. It was a fun time. And I went to the Olympics in 2012 and I still wanna go to the Olympics. But there was just something like innocent and, you get, there’s an intimacy to it too with the world game. It really was. It was fun.

That’s what I would describe.

It’s fun. And,

Alison: and you made

Listener Patrick: some

Alison: check friends.

Listener Patrick: Yeah. That was the cool thing. Just meeting athletes in general, but there was one image. I wish I did a picture of it, but I was sitting in front of the check team and then the next matchup

Listener Brian: in was, and

Listener Patrick: so there was like a couple players next to me.

And then just about to leave their seat, they take, they were offered

Listener Brian: popcorn for lacrosse players and took it. I like that’s spirit

Alison: international diplomacy, popcorn style.

Listener Patrick: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

Jill: Some of the venues weren’t super crowded, some were more crowded or they had not that big of a seating area, so it looked pretty crowded, but I bet for a lot of these sports, having this kind of audience was pretty good for them.

Listener Patrick: I think so too. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know how many people watch court fall in person or jujitsu in person or Billis in person, but I, I, I’m a guy that like goes in early, so I was probably one of like the first people there, but in terms of like the events I went to, I would say about 80, 85% full.

Oh, that’s good. Yeah. Let me think. Yeah. Mount yeah, sports timing was pretty much full. All the events I went. Pretty much full maybe the one that was probably the weakest was probably jujitsu and court ball, but even then it started to fill up as they went on. I think it’s probably because people had those day passes and they just like casually just walked in.

Jill: nice. Okay. How was sport climbing out in the heat and which, which event did you see?

Listener Patrick: Yeah, I saw bouldering and I wasn’t a fan of it in the Olympics. I don’t think the Olympics did a good job as a TV product, but in person it was amazing and fun. Yes. It was hot and humid, but we all dealt with it. But no, it was a great experience that, that surprised me the most out of all the events I went to.

Jill: What made it more fun in person?

Listener Patrick: Oh, I think the crowd was really into it. I think it was explained very well by the PA announcer and a lot, a lot of these. The PA announcer is very critical in terms of determining how well it’s, how well the, the crowded engagement is because a lot of people are going to these sports, not knowing what it is.

It’s not like baseball or basketball or football. 95% audience knows what’s going on and you can have no PA announcers, but at these events, these PA announcers are critical in terms of explaining the sport.

Alison: And also there’s a lot of downtime in a sport like bouldering. Yes,

Listener Patrick: but actually, actually, when I went to it, there was almost no downtime.

Once the guy started going like the first competitor. It’s pretty much action. Action. Action. That’s what I liked about it too. Once the first competitor went on, the only downtime was pretty much the end when, when the guys finished. Huh.

Jill: And I wonder if you feel more of the tension and more of the.

Athlete trying to solve the problem in person than you do on TV.

Listener Patrick: Oh, you do? Oh, in person you do. Cause you see them sort of think, and then when they start going up, you can see like you can see the expression [00:35:00] lot more. And I think they feel it from the crowd as well as an in person product.

It’s much better than TV TV. Doesn’t do it justice. And that’s unfortunate.

Interesting. And plus I like watching multiple things at once. I mean, we all, a lot of us, we see like four at the, we see like four going out that same time and it’s pretty cool.

Jill: it’s like a split screen right there with no split.


Listener Patrick: oh, absolutely.

So. And it it’s like when the announcer says energy going, like when someone makes it there’s like another guy, like really? So, but yeah. That’s what I liked about it too. And I don’t know if PB did P do it. Did, did, did Tokyo do it justice if they showed, if they had like multiple people going out at the same time

in bouldering?

Jill: I don’t remember. I, I think I saw the speed and I’m not sure I saw bouldering, although I do remember out of the news sports, it was my favorite cuz I thought the announcers did the best job out of all of the new sports of explaining what was going on. So, you’re right. It is, it is critical to have good in-house PAs critical to have good feed commentary too.

Listener Patrick: Absolutely. Absolutely.

I mean, there was a couple venues, unfortunately, where they did not explain it very well and that was jujitsu and billiards

well, well, both of those events, you had two different forms of the, the game going on in front of you.

di it was actually the gold medal matches, so it was just one. Okay. But still no explanation. I mean, thankfully I did some research and then I, it was fun explaining it to like other fans, like, okay, here’s what you’re gonna watch. And then, but what you just do, there’s no explanation.

Really. You did like this little, two minute intro of like what the sport is, but they didn’t tell exactly what we’re looking for, how the scoring is and stuff. So that was no fun. And I could tell it was like awfully quiet, huh? Like basically, unless you’re like cheering for like, unless you’re like a rooting interest, like from other countries I could tell the audience was like, sort of like quiet and confused exactly what they’re looking for.

Jill: Interesting and good learning lesson. did you have an officiating or volunteer job you would like to do.

Listener Patrick: I like the sweeping from Sumo. Also don’t, I wouldn’t mind em, bouldering the, they wiped the, the rock

with the long stick.

Oh, that’s right.

Jill: They do have that big, towel on the stick and they wipe them under. Yeah. That’s a good job.

Listener Patrick: Yeah, I know. And then also in court ball, which I’ve seen in basketball too, the, the sweepers. Excellent.

Yeah. So I like that. What else? I don’t think this is a volunteer job, but like getting off the arrows and archery.

Jill: Yeah. Oh yeah. You saw that, cuz I saw you on the feed.

Listener Patrick: I knew I was next to a camera, but I don’t know if I D know if I wanted like hand myself up and be like, Hey, yes. Maybe get like a, or maybe next time if you know of us, we should, like, I don’t, would’ve allowed the flame alive

Alison: we’re web of our pins and just, put it close to the camera.

Jill: yeah. That archery event was really cool with the, shooting, the arrows in three or four different directions and three or four different goals with how you shoot that. And that was one of the events that I really enjoyed because it was different.

Listener Patrick: know what the archery, what I liked about it too. Was they, you, it, like places like in the Olympics or you, it, it doesn’t make use of like the natural elements, but there, they like, like shot.

I like how they just shot over the lake. that was really cool.


Alison: And that really gave it a nice look on television. It made it interesting to watch.

Listener Patrick: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And, just being close by as well. I mean, yes, it was funny though. It was hot there too. But then I had a good experience.

I haven’t shared on the Facebook group page, I was sitting next to a British Archer and we just started talking and then at the end I took a picture with him and he is like, oh, here’s a pin. I’m like, whoa. He gave me a great Britain,

Archery pin. Nice score.

Yeah. Yeah. So. And then, I just, you and I asked him because a lot of the Barbo I was at Barbo they only have like three competitions, pretty much world championships, World Games, and European championships.

Listener Brian: They don’t have to world cup circuit. Yeah.

Jill: That’s too bad. Cause it’s a really cool event and

Listener Patrick: yeah. and it was interesting seeing how it’s like different than the Olympics, where it’s like the ends and stuff. How, how this one was more like, you know, like traditional scoring where one bad arrow, it hurts you much more.

And I like both. I like both. I think archery, I, I went to archery and Olympics and I think, and I went to archery here too. And I like both experiences. I think it’s one of those sports where I would like to go again in

person. Nice. [00:40:00] But yeah, archery, but yeah, the archery was hot and I was talking to someone else cause I was aboard.

They talking about like maybe what the world game should have done is they should have built a canopy over

like the whole stand. Yeah. They should have done that. But lessons learned

it was gonna be like 95 degrees. Humidity.

Alison: Yeah. Paris. I hope you’re listening,

Listener Patrick: right? Yeah. I hope I I’m assuming that the Olympics will better facilities.

Alison: One of the things we talked about is the World Games do not build new facilities. You use existing facilities.

Listener Patrick: Mm-hmm oh, I did not know that. I didn’t know that the World Games is existing

Jill: facilities. Yes. And, and that’s one of the reasons why not every sport that could be in the World Games is in the World Games because it depends on what they have in the area.

So if you have someplace, like, I, I think surfing is in the World Games, but it definitely was not in this addition because there’s no place to surf in Alabama. So

Listener Patrick: yeah. I mean the closest to surfing, would’ve been maybe the Gulf of Mexico, but that’s about it. I mean, I, I guess within the Olympics, they go to Tahiti for crab loud.

So they could the Gulf coast.

Alison: Yeah. the World Games. Doesn’t do those kind of

Listener Patrick: shenanigans. No, no.

Jill: Did, what was the, besides being in the venues, did they have any other like fan zone type stuff or any other things around that made it feel like you were in a multi-sport event? Town

Listener Patrick: city? No. No, no. I mean, um, honestly, which was nice, but no, not really.

I mean, you could actually, I, I went through outside the venue. You wouldn’t know, you really wouldn’t know that there’s like this like big time event, maybe like the, the signs and stuff like that. And I’m surprised that they didn’t have like, cause when I went to London, every venue had like, oh, you can buy souvenirs here and all that stuff.

Nope. Not at the World Games. It was only at the Plaza. They were

Listener Brian: selling souvenirs. Huh? That’s

Jill: truly interesting.

Listener Patrick: and some places didn’t. Like, food. Some, no, they had food, but that’s, I mean, I mean, like they had like snows and stuff, but not like food, food.

Jill: That’s interesting

Listener Patrick: too. Yeah. They had like food trucks, but then some places, like the closest thing for food inside the actual barrier was like the snow cone or, because like first time at archery I asked, is there food, food, like even like a hot dog?

And they’re like, no, the only, ones we have are like for soda and a coat I’m like, okay. So I went outside, got some food and then I was trying to bring my tacos in. They’re like, you can’t bring that in. So I ate outside right outside the barrier. So it depends on the place. Yeah. Yeah.

Jill: But still, it sounds like you had a great time.

We loved seeing your pictures and videos and all your posts on Facebook. That was so much fun.

Listener Patrick: Thank you. Thank you. It’s funny how, and I experienced this in London. It’s funny how, like, once you’re at the World Games or at the multi-sport event, you’re not watching the stream. So you’re like, sort of in this bubble, so a definite experience than like you guys watching on the feed,

Jill: but you know, and each of ’em are cool in their own way. As we, we found out when we were in Beijing, it was weird not to be able to see every sport yeah. Or as many sports as possible, but it was still cool to be there and yeah. Feel that energy. That there’s something that you only get from being in a venue and watching it live.

John Moorhead: Absolutely. I was say, I forgot who I was

Listener Patrick: saying this to, but I know you guys were thinking about going, but decided not to you guys. Would’ve had it. Would’ve been a 180. I mean, I think it would’ve been almost like a 180 experience from Beijing in terms of experience.

Alison: Well, we would’ve actually, gotten to talk to people yes.

And been, allowed to walk places. yes.

Listener Patrick: You would’ve that would’ve been sub yeah. Pretty much any, and you would’ve gotten, you could’ve gotten anywhere to go. Athletes are very accessible, like, well, yeah. Like I was like, like they’re accessible to me, so yeah.

Jill: Yeah, yeah. You know where we would’ve walked Alison right in the middle of the hearing course.

Listener Brian: Oh my

Alison: probably would’ve and been like, oh, excuse me. Do you need some help finding something?

Jill: Excellent. Well, Patrick, thank you so much for calling in and thanks again for making the World Games fun.

Listener Patrick: So, thank you for creating an environment where we could share stuff like this, especially like me where it’s like, I’m like the only one who knows about and stuff. And it was also like to say shout out to, to Brittany and John as well. And also to, to to Brian and Emily for creating that for sharing as well. I, I tried to, I, I contacted brian and Emily. I our schedules couldn’t meet up, but still it was, it was great meeting some of them. And I know 20, 24 would be great too next,

so yeah.

Jill: Excellent. Yeah.

It was fun to see that every people fans, listers got to meet in person, that one that made me happy.

Thank you so much. [00:45:00] Thank you. Thank

Alison: we’ll talk soon

Listener Patrick: right later.

Alison: Bye-bye so this is a perfect time. Mm-hmm to say join the Facebook group. Because you’ll get everybody’s pictures.

Jill: Yes, because the Facebook group was hopping all throughout the World Games and then book club, Claire went to Eugene for the world athletics championships and started sending stuff back. And that was really cool as well. So then we started having a little bit of athletics talk in there.

Alison: Keep the Flame Alive Podcast Group on Facebook.

Hi, it’s Jill and Alison from keep the flame alive. Who’s this?

Listener John S.: Hi, this is John. She

. How are you doing very well.

How are you doing good. I’m recovering from trip to Alabama.

Alison: Yes. So, how much weight did you sweat off in the heat? You did a lot of outdoor events.

It looked like,

Listener John S.: I don’t know. Well, I ate so much junk food. I’m not sure I actually lost any weight that way. I felt like though I was more Sweatt in sunscreen than anything for certain parts of it. It’s just like that afternoon sun and out like bleach there’s no shade. Bleachers hot and oof was rough, but then one clock would comment. It wouldn’t be too bad. But sometimes, sometimes it was pretty tough.

Alison: So overall what’d you think

Listener John S.: it was great? I went down with a friend. We went down for little over a week. We saw 27 sports. Whoa. And did you sleep? And, and

Yeah, actually the way it was set up, it wasn’t too hard. Like few of those were actually like cursory stopped.

A few of them were just up being really quick, but we had those passes We didn’t like get up and go every morning, but we, something happened every morning and most things we went to for an hour and a half, two hours and things would be next to each other. So it really wasn’t too hard now, days were long.

a little, but we hadn’t full days that didn’t like, we’re really just running all over the it, the same thing to check boxes.

Jill: What did you see that surprised you?

Listener John S.: What did I see that surpris me? I would say, I mean, a couple things we saw inline hockey ball, and I thought both of those would be like watching hockey, but worse.

And I’m not sure as really the case. I think both were to watch the was slower than I hockey. But then you saw a lot more like stick handling. I think maybe watching them in person makes it better. I dunno if I trying to watch them on TV might expose the

differences, but both of those kind of went in thinking they would be uh, not that great.

Both were fun. We saw a canopy piloting, which I thought might be a terrible spectator sport instead was really fun to watch. Wasn’t what we’d actually

by, right in front of you. And that was,

that was really just the wild things I’ve seen.

Jill: Can you tell us about that? Cause I haven’t, I don’t know if it’s on a feed yet and I haven’t been able to see it. What is canopy pilot piloting?

Listener John S.: So it is a parachuting skills competition basically, and they have four disciplines and all of them involve getting a helicopter, jumping out a plane.

So we watched a lot of people getting into a helicopter, a helicopter taking off, and then six, somebody was jumping out a plane helicopter above us. And so.

They have this like pond that is split up with like a long rectangular pond. And for each discipline, they come through and drag their feet in the water as they’re landing to slow down.

But then what they do is different depending the discipline. So we saw one that was accuracy, which involved them dragging their feet to slow down and then trying to land in a little box. And however close, you got the box, you got more points right in the middle points. But if you’re off little bit, your now we also one that was competition where they, these wasn’t like really a, but course had to go a little bit of like, these things had to go around with a little bit of an angle. So wasn’t just a straight line and say they had to drag their feet. Certain part there, certain places, they made sure they were still dragging their feet or they were low enough to register. But then they went through the course as fast as possible.

So the winning time was like two and half seconds. This short course, they also do a freestyle one. We didn’t see that these little tricks along the water as they land. And they do a distance competition.

Where they have to track those they’re feet at a certain place as far as possible, lay down the field. And they score each of these. You get, if you first finish first, you get one point you finish last 30, 30 points. Each of those three times over the course of many days and added up the point and got a winner. So took so long, like actually following event. Would’ve been very tough cause took many days.

And we showed up twice in the mornings and decided delayed and went off and did other things. But as an actual, it was really cool. They had, I also had a really good, in stadium announcer who [00:50:00] goes around calling air sports, it sounds like. So he knew what he was talking about. And that was really, really helpful.

I guess, one other wild thing about it is they jumped three or four at a time. So they’d all get in the helicopter. And then you would hear, they would blast a whistle three whistles when they jumped out and you’d look up and you couldn’t, you couldn’t suddenly there little up in the

air and before you know, it they’re down and at a time whistle they’d have to off real right behind, like in 90 seconds or something. And then that was it. And then, so got it,

Jill: man. This is one of those sports that I think, how did they come up with this?

Listener John S.: Yeah, I don’t know a bunch of people who uh, are professional parachutists and then former military their lives or something. Yeah, I think a lot of them, it sounded like work for

Bad admin companies. So they’ll do like tour Phantom and stuff, but then also go do their wild competitions.

Alison: Jumping out of a plane isn’t risky enough. I need to make it more difficult to survive.

Jill: Yeah.

Listener John S.: Yeah. I mean, and it’s dangerous. the angles little weird from where you’re sitting, but they would do these like littles as they were coming in to get to the right spot terrifying.

And they were facts coming into. I don’t, I, I don’t understand how they get like the insurance code kinda

Alison: I’d like to see the waiver for that event.

Listener John S.: Yeah, exactly. Yep.

Jill: Did you see anything that was trying to get into the Olympics?

Listener John S.: We saw ultimate at the last day which was fine. I’d seen before my sister plays not near this level.

And it was little more entertaining once they were as good as they were. I didn’t think it was like the best thing I ever seen, but I thought it was okay. I think this is like a self refereeing sport. And so every time there was some sort of thing that came up about whether there was a foul or who’d touch, what, and everything would stop and they would talk.

And they have these observers who would come out and help them interpret the rules that weren’t for specifically not referees. And I thought, this is the kind thing that you could get on the stage of the Olympics. Like someone, some bad faith actor is gonna exploit, or it’s just not gonna, not gonna work as well.

I know it’s part of the, of the sport, but, it also really sometimes really ruined the uh, rhythm of the game. That was interesting to see an action. They, the game for two minutes, I talked through if it was their foul or not. And if so, where does the disc go? They’re pick down fields. And if so, what is the, what is the action and things like that.


Jill: Huh. That’s interesting. We

Alison: can’t call it ultimate Frisbee. We have to call it flying dis

Listener John S.: yeah, it was flying dip. And we were wondering like, why. Like, I just like ultimate flying just that extra flying sounded so funky

Jill: And, and I would have this on while I was working. So it was kind of out of the corner of my eye.

And every once in a while, I would see those games, non referees, who would like be the judge or arbitration person to try. And, and when I saw, cause I thought, oh, they work everything out. They sell for referee. But when I saw that there was somebody on the sidelines to help them talk through the situation that, to me says, there’s a referee in the sport.

Just make it a referee sport.

Listener John S.: Yeah, exactly. You would think it, I mean, you would think that just having somebody make, the call and then keep going would be a better option, which I, I realize is P for these people are really into the sport, but an outsider. I thought that many times they were in the while they were talking through the resolution to whatever it just happened

and like

Jill: was kind a fun sport to watch on TV. I will say that.

Listener John S.: Good. Yeah. I can, imagine play at a high level. Yeah. It was definitely more entertaining. I was expecting that one was kinda, we were literally on our way outta town. We thought, well, it hit a few more things on Saturday and it was more, it was better than I was.

I was expecting 20 wasn’t

Alison: enough. You needed more?

Listener John S.: Yeah. We were thinking we were living the DC area. If we had a long drive over the weekend, we thought, well, we could find something to do on the way back, or we could just leave later and see we saw water out. And that ended up being the choice instead.

Jill: What, what else did you like, what else would you recommend if people would go to the World Games?

Listener John S.: So I was at the, the same Sumo night. Ah, you on that first Saturday.

Alison: So what was that like in the stadium? It, it seemed insane on television. It was

Listener John S.: wild. Yeah. So it, with the cool atmosphere, I mean, people were like into it. Even before all the, the craziness of that particular about

you know, you think about Sumo and you think it’s gonna be like two big people who crashed on each other and one falls out and that’s it.

But the matches had all sorts of different [00:55:00] characters. Some were like that, but a lot of ’em were were a lot longer with a lot of clearly different kinds of skills people were using. People wanted all sorts of different ways. It’s just wildly.

Like I like, I like watching ju at the Olympics and I think maybe even top of my list now, as far as

that kinda sport, because the winners just basically whoever touches first falls on the ground without all the. Extra rules you get in all sorts of other martial.

that was really cool. And then they had the issue where the uh, Egyptian got disqualified, which was tough to understand what’s happening in the arena. I know


everyone said, what announcer did we couldn’t hear the announcer that well, you saw the,

back flip and everyone’s crazy for it. And then, we heard the announcement. I,

I didn’t realize it cause of the back flip. Until later he thought maybe there’s some sort of Sumo rule that he did disqualified. And then we had a great view of the coach just feeling bonkers, cause he was right sort of below up. And then he was up on the stage and we could hear

the announce, like get off the stage. Do you wanna get off the stage? And then booing and shouting Egypt. And they announced. So the rematch and people went nuts and the rematch had a closed policy. The end, it was like wild. And like people were talking about that throughout the bid. A few times we were talking to people we’re on really several articles made was uh, it clearly clearly clearly clearly made made an impact, but

Jill: it was also cool because Sumo was one of those sold out venues and just the energy you could feel from the crowd.

And it, it just looked really exciting.

Listener John S.: It was. Yeah. I think it’s probably the first indoor event I reporting event I’ve been to since the pandemic and I mean, from being away. So I felt that energy and people were, were into it and excited and full crowd. And it was even without the, that one crazy event that people were were in, in the crowd stayed the whole, time.

It was great. It turns out,

Alison: were there speaking of the pandemic, were there any COVID protocols? It didn’t look like any of the fans were really wearing masks.

Listener John S.: No. I think of a lot of places had hand sanitizer, but otherwise let see a ton of masks inside. I think people are most likely to map where people like other teams you would see a team from country alls, a lot of the American spectators wearing masks.

I don’t recall anything else that was any, any sort of sign I saw or anything like that that had to do with protocol. So I’m sitting here hoping everything for, so we

Alison: start cheering for your white blood cells, John.

Listener John S.: Thank you.

Jill: Anything else on your list of sports that surprised you?

Listener John S.: Let’s see we we enjoyed it.

The roller speed skating. We only saw we did track. We saw one and was fun. Didn’t

but tooth skating

was very cool. Looking down my list, canoe polo was just really wild. Just kind of like chaos. So it’s like water polo. It’s you got guys around the perimeter kind of passing back and forth to each other and everyone in the middle, just murdering each other. It’s just not, it’s just it chaos.

But what’s cool about it. It’s they’re throwing the, the ball into it, a net, they got all their canoes and then they use thes also to pick up the ball or flip it to each other. And that part I was expecting that was they horse ball a little better than I was expecting. I kind of thought ITD be like, Basketball, but what if you could go behind the net?

And so is that really that interesting, but there’s no dribbling. And so it’s basically all like the passing and the jump shots of basketball, but no, like driving to the net or anything like that. And so really like intricate movements as people try to get open and there’s weeding around each other.

that was pretty cool. Again, maybe wouldn’t be on TV, but in then we saw some water skiing jumping and that nuts, like stuff where they

uh, the first time I saw it said, oh, it’s like ski jumping, like, oh, of course it’s, it’s literally ski jumping, but again, that same sort of V shape, but they’re doing over water and they’re flying behind a, behind a power boat and getting massive distance.

It was slamming into the water. Like, you’d hear that thought when they. It was it created to think like it was really dangerous yeah.

Alison: The, the World Games definitely seem to have many more sports at which you could die than the Olympics.

Listener John S.: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Would

Jill: you go again if they were, I mean, not, not necessarily to Chengdu, but if they were close now around again?[01:00:00]

Listener John S.: Definitely. I think so the sports themselves were fun. Right? Cause either go to do all sorts of different things and being at an event like that was cool. Just amount of excitement in the air and things going on in the parts of the city that we were in and the city was busy and just like a fun atmosphere.

It’s like living in that bubble for a week and then getting outta it, realizing nobody else knows anything about the World Games I’ve ever heard of it, which is, kinda get into it. And you hear other

people event, people go to and all that, and it’s like, you’re in the moment. And then you get out and you realize it’s just a very small.

But yeah, we would, I would

I would definitely do it again and see some of these reports again and see some of the ones I missed, which surely I subtract things over time. So we’d see. What else what else would come,

Jill: did you have a favorite officiating or volunteer job that you’d would wanna do, because thank you so much for keeping that, that thread going on the Facebook group.

That was fantastic.

Listener John S.: Good. I’m glad you brought the moment. I saw theming

out the, get a of

on it before I even and then unfortunately it got like less interesting, like the first half of all these interesting ones to report back on by the second half of the week, it was not, not as interesting. I would say. There’s all I wanna do with ones that lifesaving, where they had to like scuba dive and put down the the mannequin was pretty unique. And the ones were in, in floor ball where they are stationed at the corners and actually like tossing balls. Again, it’s very nonstop game on like, hockey, like ball went out and they to another ball and their back at it. So that was like the, the helpers really had a lot to do to stand their toes, to, to talk the balls when they needed, and then to fix all the boards every time they got a, which happened, happened.

Jill: Very cool. Very cool. Well, John, thank you so much for calling in and thank you so much for sharing everything on Facebook. You’ve really helped make the whole event so much fun to watch, and we’ve really felt like we got some inside scoop, even though we couldn’t be there.

Listener Brian: Yeah. Well happy happy to report.

It was Fun interacting with people online to sort of share the, the love of these strange things.

Jill: Excellent. Well, thanks again, John. And we’ll talk to you soon. Sounds good. Thanks. Good. Talk to you.

Alison: So I do wanna mention, we, talked about trampoline before the spotter was back with the Matt.

Jill: Oh

Alison: yeah. Okay. Trampoline, Matt spotter was back. So my, my motherly role to protect these little girls.

They’re not little girls. They’re like grownups and they’re fabulous, but you know, I don’t care if you’re 40, you’re still my child that I’m gonna be like, no, no injury, be safe. Please don’t jump out of an airplane.

Jill: speaking of ages, one thing I loved about the acrobatics was the fact that some of the women were what we would say on the older side of the sport, especially the Belgium team, which was 29, 21 and 17. Now that’s a huge age difference to put a team together and how you find that camaraderie. But I loved the fact that there was somebody who’s at a world class level, in the sport of gymnastics at age 29.

That was fantastic.

Alison: Well, the women, especially the bases tended to be older because they need to be fully developed. They need to be strong and they need to be mature enough to handle that. And then the flyers were the little munchkins that weighed nothing. Oh my God. The Israeli girl flyer, if she weighed 65 pounds, I would be surprised

Jill: they were, all of them were just incredible, but I was so happy to see just different.

Ages different body types, all on this sport that we from our watching of the Olympics. And because we don’t cover gymnastics or I don’t know some of these disciplines very well, all I see is the same body type. And we’re told that, especially from dealing with the 1970s and the belly Caroli and Eastern European era of coaching, that you needed to be a stick and a twig.

And that’s not the case. There are disciplines and well, even artistic gymnastics now needs to have, you have to have a really strong body to do these tricks, but it was great to see that the sport is for more people than just people who are four foot eight and 85 pounds

Alison: don’t eat.

Jill: it

Alison: makes me mad.

Jill: Did you watch the closing ceremonies?

Alison: I did. What was the American idol redacts going

Jill: on? No, I didn’t know. So many of them were from Alabama. I was

Alison: what is going on [01:05:00] here a lot. It was very Alabama, which we talked, we talked about this in Tokyo and we talked about this. Amazing. I love when the ceremonies are very much of the place, but it was long.

Jill: Yeah. It, it did feel long. There was a lot of getting people on and off stage and I thought, oh boy, this is long. And then I realized, oh, this is probably a commercial break time. And we were watching a stream. So we weren’t getting commercial breaks. I loved the fact that the volunteers got to walk in the stadium, just like the athletes did.

Yes. That was a beautiful touch.

Alison: And we know the volunteers at these events work so incredibly hard and these kids had such heat to deal with and so much. So they, they deserve that honor. And did you love when I’m probably gonna pronounce his name wrong, but the president of the, I w G a Jose Lopez, sweet home Ali

Jill: I love

Alison: photoing.

Oh, he was fantastic. He is actually was a competitor and canoe sprint in his

Jill: oh, okay.

Alison: So yes, he was just lovely and it seemed like the games did go off smoothly.

Jill: Yeah. And I think Birmingham, it looked like they did an overall, really good job with what they had. well, they could not have managed the heat, but I think having more shade would’ve helped and, and probably Mister, but I think these games looked really good on TV and the mayor was all over the place.

He was great. So excited crowds were into it. like we said, the softball crowd was fantastic. I will say a little beef sliding in because Lister, Brittany was with her family and there were some accessibility issues to venues and having to walk further than some of her party could manage.

And that was really tough to try to get around and deal with that, which is not great.

Alison: And transportation issues. She mentioned too, that they had some, and we know about that.

Jill: Yeah. I don’t think you can have a multi-sport event without having some kind of transportation. And

Alison: I don’t understand why. I, I really don’t understand why at this point we haven’t figured out how to move people.

Jill: I have no idea, but. That aside. I think the sports were a lot of fun to watch. It was a lot to learn and it, they were really cool. for a hot minute. I did not know if Lionel Richie was gonna make it to the stage.

Alison: I was so confused.

They kept saying Lionel Richie is coming, Lionel Richie is coming. And I’m like, okay, you’ve been saying that the whole show is this just mythical? Is he gonna appear as a hologram? What is happening?

Jill: And then it was like, yeah, he’s still coming. Just hold on. And he wanted to go lion. Now you’re ready back there.

Come on. Let’s go.

Alison: was he trapped in a gondola in some mountain someplace what was happening and then was gonna parachute out

Jill: of the and then the poor guy just wore the. All night long bomber jacket satin, probably with a long shirt, long sleeve shirt underneath it because he dresses. He knows how to dress.

And he was so sweaty by the end of the first number and he’s like, oh boy, I don’t know if I can get through the next two boy. yes.

Alison: Bo B had like a velvet laser there, there was a lot of men wearing weather, inappropriate clothing, which I can understand. You wanna look chic, but please don’t pass out.

We were waiting for

Jill: him all night long two other points. We do have to talk about the commentator because poor Ben, Ben thought they were in Spain, the commentators and were watching the feed. But no, these two were actually there because they kept talking about the amount of shrimp and grits that they ate.

All week long, but I mean, did the man who was from New Zealand, did he come after your heart? When he started calling it, the Mexican wave that went around the stadium? No, he

Alison: came after my heart. When he said Ruben stuttered was the first winner of American idol. oh, no. That is Kelly Clarkson young man.

You clearly do not have a research department who is fact checking you

Jill: but what I loved was that the orchestra did the wave as well. When it got to their point in the stadium, they just like, we’re keeping it going. Meanwhile, when we’re all in Beijing sitting in the journalist’s media area, the wave would be going around the stadium and it would just kind of stop. Cause none of the journalists wanna get, you’d get a couple that would go up, but then it would like, it would wait in appropriate [01:10:00] amount of time.

And then they’d pick it up again because they’d go, it’s about, okay. It would kind of get here right about now. Let’s go

Alison: they, they really had their wave technology and timing down down very well.

Jill: We, we do have to talk about the presentation from Chengdu, which Chengdu China will be the host in 20, 25, a lot better

Alison: than Milan Cortinas presentation.

Jill: well, at first, when it was just the one female dancer doing a modern piece, I thought, oh, this is like the Milan Cortina presentation. And that they just bring two people or one person out and that’s their show. But then they brought out the spunky troop of dancers, hip hop dancers. And that made me so happy.

Cuz I like when I’m watching it, I was just like, oh, I could go for some Chinese variety. Television channel right now. And they brought it but then they

Alison: brought out the mascot , which I described as the dollar store. Bing DWW he is a Panda, I guess he’s supposed to be cute, but his head was not quite on his body and his eyes were kind of bulging.

He, he looks scared and confused

Jill: and he had it. His shirt was like his shrunk in the wash. It was like a tank top that said Chandu on it. it came about to just under his chest and then his belly just went out because it was a big bottomed Panda. So he can wiggle, I guess when he walks it just looked like my tank top shrunk in the wash.

I don’t know what to do. I’m in this foreign country with all these weird people. What’s go, it’s hotter than blazes in this costume. What is going on? But. I’ll be curious to see what happens in Chengdu.

Alison: Hi, it’s Jill and Nelson from keep the flame alive. Who’s this?

John Moorhead: Hi, it’s John. Hi, John.

Jill: What did you see?

John Moorhead: I know some guys on the us fistball team. and they reached out to me back in January, basically saying, Hey help.

Like, we don’t have any like boots on the ground kind of stuff. Like they didn’t have essentially like what a team manager would do. And they asked I would be interested. And I was, I worked with them a little bit about the process, what, like what I would exactly be doing, how much would it cost, all that stuff.

How do I get credentials? So I worked with them and I ended up when it was all said and done working with them on their social media, like just updating their Instagram and Twitter while they were playing a lot of manager stuff like water and ice and talking to doctors, which there’s a story with that.

And just booking practice times when they would eat things like that. So a lot of just manager work. So I was doing that for both the men and women’s so that basically took up almost all of my time.

Jill: Cause that was a long tournament.

John Moorhead: It was. So they got down there July 7th before they were all there for the opening ceremony, which they said was very cool.

The flag bearers were there, the, the male was a fist baller and the female was a FiNet athlete. So they shared the, those duties. They said it was very cool. But they didn’t actually play till the 10th. So they were down there for about two or three holes competition and the gold medal match was the 14th.

Jill: Wow. Yes. So I

John Moorhead: got down that Friday and it was, I, I will say the Birmingham Southern college where the fist ball tournament was held along with there was karate and Woohoo at the basketball arena they have, which was very good at was very awesome. Was awesome.

The facilities where the athletes stayed, where they athlete ate, where they played or where they practiced was way better than Ross, Bob and Poland in 2017. Every athlete had their own individual room. there was a suite and there was a common room, four bedrooms in a bathroom. I told you when I was in Poland, we had just like these little tiny beds and showers sat.

We couldn’t fit in. But the dining hall was, was way better. The food was, I mean, obviously it was food was very Americanized. They always had like a catch of the day, whether it was Cod or tilapia, they had vegetarian options. they also had like burgers and pizza, if you wanted to veg out or if you weren’t playing.

that was all really well done and taken care of. Lots of security. Security was everywhere all over the campus. I had to cause I wasn’t allowed to. With the athletes. I had an Airbnb, they set me up with, and I had to flash my badge. Every time I entered, I took an Uber every day there.

And I was there pretty much from 7:00 AM to like 9:00 PM almost every day. So in that sense, the facilities were awesome. The security was awesome. They made sure that all the athletes were taken care of. They did their best to hydrate us. Even volunteers, they were just, there was always someone going around who was, [01:15:00] you need water, you need water, you need ID Powerade.

Cause it was, it was ungodly hot.

It was wild how hot it was.

We actually had a girl pass out against New Zealand in the middle of the third step, cuz it was so hot. So that was pretty wild. And I read somewhere, there was like 400 deep related illnesses that happened during the World Games.

Jill: one of the listeners, so it might have been Brittany posted it and posted that in the Facebook group too, where it just, it did sound brutal and it didn’t sound like there were a lot of venues outdoors that did not have a lot of shades for spectators.

I saw some tents on the side for participants in some places, but yeah, I mean, how do you deal with the humidity and still compete at the level you wanna compete at?

John Moorhead: and I totally understand that, like, it, falls in international calendar and there’s not a whole lot. You can do, especially with all the other events that, I mean, you get getting pushed back you’re in the first place you have the world athletics championships at the same time.

It’s I totally get that. But it was really bad. I went through three or four shirts every day. I mean, I was outside the whole entire day, We would have, practices and trainings. And it was really, really, really high.

I mean, the average temperature was 97 with a real field, like 1 0 5 in most states, we went to a lot of sunscreen, a lot of sunscreen.

Jill: Holy cow. So, so what is your doctor’s story?

John Moorhead: Oh, so that, that, so the doctor’s story. So there’s the warmup field where on one side of campus and the main spiel where the soccer stadium is at Birmingham Southern is on the other side.

So we had to take a, a shuttle. We basically have to, that was one of my job was to make sure the shuttle would come, 15 minutes before match so we can get up there. Players can get introduced, all that good stuff. And once I get all the, the players up there, get off the shuttle, like grab I grab what I need ice water.

And then I had to go meet the physician, the doctor. And it was this guy, his name was Daniel. He’s a physician. I know he told me he graduated from Auburn, but I don’t know where he works right now. He’s a really nice guy, but I just would always go, just introduce myself, say, Hey, I’m John I’m with the us team.

I’m their manager. If you need anything, just let me know. Before I need you was like, I got you. And um, it was funny. We were just talking. So the us girls were playing New Zealand at 1 45. And the fifth place it matched the girls go up to nothing, two sets to not New Zealand.

They’re rolling. And then the third set goes and goes, goes a little long. The girls lose it was close. I’m not sure if it went to extra points or not. And fist ball matches go to 11. It’s tied. You have to win. What’s first win of 15 after 11, but I’m not sure if it goes that far, but it’s long. And kind, just like volleyball or the set, you switch sides.

And we’re, we’re, we’re switching sides. And I, I see the cord of my eye, one of our girls, she just kills over. She just kills over and I’m just like Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. And he, he came right out there and he, cause it was weird. Cause we were joking like, yeah, we’re gonna be fine. We’re not gonna no he problems today.

And he was right on it and he was great. They got her cart off the field, put her in an ice bath gave her an IV and she was good as new. The problem was with the match. The girls end up losing the match and the um, Iffa officials, the fist ball officials. They just kind of ushered our girls right back on the pitch, like right back on the.

A lot of our girls were like, where is, you know, I’m not gonna say her name, but where is she? Like, where is she? And we’re like, the doctor has, or she’ll be fine. And they’re just like, we’re gonna play right now. Who’s gonna go in for her. And they just, they just push. Cause they, they have a schedule like, and our games are, are stacked on top of each other and like our 15 minute increments.

So, they kind of pushed our girls back out there and New Zealand crushed them in the, and then they lost the fifth. So that was kinda disheartening a little bit.

Jill: Ah, that is too bad. That is too bad. I it’s incredible that the heat only got one person to be quite honest and on the teams.

John Moorhead: Yeah. I mean the heat, I mean, it was definitely, definitely, definitely bad.

I know in the, one of the men’s matches, with that one that went five sets. They gave them like a 10 minute cooling break before the fifth set. So I mean, I guess they were somewhat aware of it. You have to be aware of it if you’re standing out there. So, I don’t, again, I don’t know what you do about it.

Like it’s just one of those things that falls international calendar it’s it is what

it is. So

Jill: how did the teams feel about their performances and how did they feel about being on the world stage fist ball? Not incredibly popular in America?

John Moorhead: No. So I, I’m pretty close to some of the guys on the team and there’s only about 15 guys who actually play seriously.

That’s it. And the whole country and 10 of them were [01:20:00] there and they finished 10th out of 18 teams at the 2019 world championships. So they were really looking to improve on that performance. They definitely circled the Italy game, so that in group play, they had to go against Brazil who ended up winning the bronze medal.

and Austria who ended up getting fourth plates and Austria is pretty good. And then Italy, Italy was their, like their third match and Italy is okay. Italy got like sixth or seventh at the 2019 world championship. So that was the game they really circled. And um, the girls circled the New Zealand game.

The girls knew that Switzerland and Austria who in their group play wasn’t really gonna happen. But they knew that they could handle New Zealand and both teams fell short of that goal. So they were really, really, really distraught and departed by that. Um, You could just kind of tell, like, that was their gold medal game.

If you know what I mean? Like they knew going into the tournament, they weren’t going to medal, but they really wanted to, you know, at least take one of those games. And they weren’t able to, but you can definitely tell that these guys play with a, like a passion. They also know that this was a chance to grow the sport a little.

I know from working with their Facebook page and their Instagram page, they already I’ve already had like three or four messages from guys who watched the world’s games. Like, Hey, how do I get involved? So that in itself is, a moral victory, just getting more and more people familiar with the sport.

Jill: Nice, it is nice when that happens and people reach out and they’re excited about what they see and it’s just getting that opportunity to see sports like the sports in the World Games program.

John Moorhead: Yeah. And, and that, I mean, from your first episode on the world game you’re absolutely, there’s two levels to the World Games.

There’s the sports that are trying to get into the Olympics such as flying disc, And then there’s the sports that are just trying to get. More popular get more familiar. And this ball falls in that second category. we will never pro this all will probably never be an Olympic sport.

Not other countries play it, but here’s our chance to be on the world stage a little bit. And that world game ISN in that opportunity, which is really nice.

Jill: Nice. Did you get to do anything besides fist ball?

John Moorhead: I had one night off and that was that was Monday, the 11th was my only night off and I went to five football. I saw Italy play Germany and I saw Austria play Mexico. and I saw the us women play France. So there was two fields. There’s two games going on at the same time, which was kind of confusing. And it was actually, it kind of bothered me a little bit that the us women were playing France and Mexico’s playing like Austria or, or no, Mexico’s playing Germany, I think. And the PA announcer is just covering the Mexico Germany game.

And I’m just like, well, we’re in America. Why. Why aren’t we watching? Why can’t the PA like he totally wasn’t even acknowledging it playing. Like, I wanna hear what’s happening in the girls game. Cause it’s on the other side of the field, they kinda gave the men like field one in the women’s field two, which, oh, it’s shocking.

It’s kind of crappy. Yeah. but you know, you’re sitting there just like, well, this is in the United States, I get for time sake, you have two games going on, but why can’t we, I wanna hear what’s happened in the women’s the us women’s game. I don’t really care about Mexico and Germany.

Germany was terrible. so like, it was a blowout, like it was 36 to nothing and there he’s still, saying so and so complete the path for our first down. He was a good public address. Announcer. He definitely is some guy Legion field uses when they have their pro or college games there for. But I guess he was told to do field one only so

Jill: that when did you think

of the game and the quality of the play?

John Moorhead: I didn’t see enough of the men’s game to get a real fail. I could just tell that Germany and Austria, they just weren’t on par with Mexico at all. Mexico looked really good. Just Germany and Austria, a lot of just basic, like simple mistakes, like dropping passes not playing defense, it just seemed like they almost didn’t like, know how to play.

And I think that’s kind of what flag is kind of pushed is getting that push because it’s, it’s this easier game to learn than tackle. Of course it is. And it has skills that can translate a little faster and easier. I think we can see at the men’s level, it’s not. Quite as global as we want it to be just yet.

Italy did get a silver medal, which was surprising. But the women’s game, the women lost to Mexico. and they only beat Austria by like three points in the semi-final. So the women’s game a lot closer than men’s game is right now, which, the IOC wants to see competitiveness and that’s gonna be a big thing going into their bid in,[01:25:00]

Alison: and I’d be interested to know how many of those Italian players are actually American born.

John Moorhead: Yeah. You know, I don’t know if there was a whole lot of them who were, who were American born. I know Israel, didn’t, wasn’t at the World Games. I know they’re a country that normally has a lot of American born athletes and they probably would be really good at fight football for that reason.

But um, wasn’t too sure haven’t I didn’t really look at a roster. I can probably go World Games cause a really good results database. Is like, it’s like a top tier results database. It’s actually surprising how good it is. And you can go back and see everything about whoever played, how many minutes they played, how many goals they scored or passes they caught or laps.

They ran it. It’s really good. They could probably check that out and get back to on that one.

Jill: Excellent. so what’s with you and first ball going forward or is was this a, Hey, a nice opportunity and, maybe help you out in the future sometime

John Moorhead: I just kind of wanted to be involved.

like I wanted to be involved in the World Games. I knew, so they took away American football and I kind of realized that and there’s no kicking in flag football, so there’s no, no shot there. And I was like, well, let me just see what’s, out there. And I knew, I knew guys from the football team So football only really happens in three parts of the United States and it’s very popular, very popular. They play it in Jackson, Wisconsin. They play it in Flanders, New Jersey, which is like Northern New Jersey, New York suburbs. And they play it in just outside of Philadelphia. So it’s kind of three spots.

And my friend Corey, who I’ve been in touch with since the 2017 World Games, basically, he kinda was like, yeah, you come out and try, come out and try. And I went out and try last summer and I was absolutely terrible. And it hurts. Those balls hurt your, you kind of hit your off your forearm more so than your fifth.

That didn’t feel great.

So they were just like, so you’re familiar with the World Games. We could really use like a logistics guy, social media guy. Can you come down with us? And I was like, yeah, absolutely. It’s a good chance of be involved. I don’t know what my next step is with them. I think it was just something that was, it was nice to do.

And I mean, they, they were a host quota filler, so I really don’t see them. I mean, who knows, hopefully they, they do get to Chengdu, but they have to place in like the top eight in the next world championships to do so. And I’m not sure we’ll see fingers cross. They do, but that’s gonna be a big challenge for them.

Jill: Interesting. we will keep an eye on fish ball, come to Chan do time and see how it goes.

John Moorhead: Well, it’s funny, it’s, it’s a quick turnaround. It’s it’s three years time. And there were a lot of just like it was in, in Poland, just a lot of IOC people there, just looking for, I was trying to explain this to some friends today, like.

Yes, the next Olympics is in 2024, but that program’s already like this world game, the 20 page 22 World Games is for 20, 28 Los Angeles. Like there’s a ton of those people there seeing what’s gonna fit the bill. So the Cheng do games in 2025. That program for LA is already set. So it’s gonna be a whole different, and that’s one of the things in the World Games.

There’s gonna be a whole different set of sports. Nah, not a whole different, but a lot of sports will be different. And a lot of sports will be new at the World Games in 2025,

Jill: which is kind of interesting because the 2025 games will be for really, for Olympics 2032. And they’re not that far geographically from each other.

So LA was probably very happy to only have to travel to Birmingham. Yeah. Especially for sure. Especially in COVID times still. So.

John Moorhead: So speaking of COVID there was literally every, so when you get, try

to get credentials, you have to show you’re vaccinated. So there was like the whole big thing about being vaccinated, but there was no mass policy.

And then you kind of the wearing masks more and more so day one dining hall no mask by my like six day, I would say about 25% of the athletes are wearing mask. And then you look at weird that Austria only has eight of their 10 guys. Why are they missing two? It tested positive and throughout the whole entire tournament the whole entire Austria delegation at BSC was wearing masks after tutor athletes tested positive.

That was, it was a really, really, really interesting thing to kind of see no one ever told you to wear a mask. No one ever told you to be careful, but you could tell there was definitely. uh, Spike in cases.

Jill: Wow. That’s really interesting. And you could just, you can tell, especially, I mean, there’s no testing protocols like we went through, but when you can see that just kind of ripple through, you’re like, oh, okay.

It’s still around. There’s still some risk here.

John Moorhead: Yeah. And a, I mean, for a short tournament like that, where, your whole World Games is four days, you had positive, you’re done and that’s, really,

Jill: that is tough. Well, John, thank you so much for calling in. [01:30:00] We’ve really appreciate it.

We’re glad you got to go down. Glad you got to be involved. And thank you so much. It’s nice to have this shook Tani perspective.

John Moorhead: Of course. And my, my final take will be, it is way better to be an athlete than it is to be a worker.

That is my final take. It is way better to be an athlete than to work the event.

Alison: It sounds like you did eat better this time.

John Moorhead: Oh my gosh. Hate so much better this time. So much better.

that’s what’s really important. So

Jill: did, did you get any decent souvenirs?

John Moorhead: So I got a, a, a bag from the Brazilian football team that was pretty much. There was a lot of the athletes did pin trading, which wasn’t something in Poland. So there was a lot of pins to be traded. I had my TKFLASTANI pin.

I wasn’t trading that. But I got likes of stuff from, but I didn’t really trade them. I, I just got a, a cool bag from Brazil, which hanging up on my wall. That was nice.

Jill: Very cool. Yeah. Excellent. Well, John, thank you again. And we appreciate it.

Like I, this has been, I mean, I was surprised at how much fun I had watching the World Games

John Moorhead: and I’m really, I was really excited to log into Facebook every night and just see everyone else just being so excited about it because, four years ago in Poland, like no one really even mentioned it.

I think being a United States’s helped a lot, but it’s just really nice to see that. It’s growing. And hopefully one day when I tell people that I play in the world’s games, I won’t have to give ’em this whole explanation about how it’s like the Olympics are six and then go into it. But I think, I definitely think being United States definitely helped the popularity of it.

Jill: Yeah. I, we hope so. I think it would be a nice, compliment to the Olympics. And another way, because the, the power of multi-sport events is so big that you don’t realize it until you start watching them or you’re in them. And you see all of the interaction with countries and you see all these sports that you don’t know, and it just makes you, and when you see some good sportsmanship, you really feel good inside

John Moorhead: it’s really one of those things where like you have feelings. And even though I wasn’t an athlete this time around you just, just being there, you have these like feelings and emotions that like, it’s just wild sometimes to think that like you’re sitting there. There’s someone from, Senegal like right across from you.

Like it’s just really, it’s a really feeling, and it’s something that you really only get at these at these, whether you’re a fan or an athlete or a volunteer, it’s just like a very special feeling.

Jill: Excellent. Well take care, John. Don’t be a stranger and we will talk to you soon. absolutely.

Thank you. Okay. Thank you. Take care

John Moorhead: in jail. Okay.

Jill: Byebye.

Well, thank you so much, everyone. Thank you all for making it so much fun to go on the Facebook group every day. It, it really was a blast hanging out there. And I have to say one of the things I really loved about watching the multi-sport events was watching some of the sportsmanship.

Alison: Oh, absolutely.

And so many things we hadn’t seen before, so many things. We sort of were familiar with love, all the things that they’re talking about for LA 20, 28. We got to see lacrosse, we got to see flag football. My softball heart was so happy with that game and that tournament and it was unexpected.

I have to say how much fun

Jill: this was. Yes, yes. In a way, going in not knowing what these games are, and you’re looking at some of the sports and you’re reading up on them and going, huh, this does not sound like a very popular sport.

Especially a lot of them are not popular in America, so we don’t have much background in them. But so many of these sports were very surprising to me and how much I enjoyed watching.

Alison: Absolutely. So we haven’t even talked about artistic roller skating. So I got glitter, I got beads, I got Spangles and sparkles and flips.

I got gelled hair. I got the whole thing. So I’m ready with my beads and my Bengals. And I’m gonna be practicing my handstands. So start working on those neck muscles.

Jill: okay. I can do that.

That’s going to do it for this week. Let us know your thoughts about the World Games.

Alison: You can get in touch with us by email, flame, alive Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it, our social handle is at flame alive pod and be sure to join the, Keep the Flame Alive Podcast Group on Facebook and look back at all the fantastic World Games posts, and,

Jill: and also the world athletics championships, because we’ve had people there as well.

And there’s some chatter going on about those [01:35:00] too. So it’s all exciting all in the Facebook group. next week is gonna be two years to go till Paris. So join us then for some excitement and looking ahead to the next games that we will cover. So thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep the flame alive.