10 Things That Happen When You Travel to an International Gymnastics Meet
Gymnastics provides the greatest excuse to travel in the world. Chose an event, book a flight, and go! This is the preferred method of travel for indecisive travel bug sufferers and has yielded fantastic results. Prepare yourself for many if not all of the following events to occur when you travel to an international gymnastics meet!
1)When people ask what brought you to the country, you will have to carefully explain that you will be a spectator at a gymnastics event, not a competitor. People may assume you are competing and be very impressed with the fantastics abilities that you do not have. You have the option of gently correcting this person and say you will be merely viewing the event or you can run with it and claim you are a world class athlete. GymMapStics discourages this because blatantly lying about your skills and abilities is generally frowned upon in polite society.
2) You may have to ditch your friends to watch gymnastics; however, non-gym fan travelers will easily find other methods in which to occupy their time while you remain holed up in an arena for hours on end. The country you are visiting will have many different attraction and activities in which your friends may engage. They may choose instead to sleep off their jet lag. See photograph below for inspiration.
3) You will casually walk past some of your gymnastics heroes in the arena, marvel at their miniature size, and find yourself surprised that they’re actually humans. You might not actually recognize many of them at first glance because they are not in athletic clothing and are so much smaller than they appear on TV or in YouTube videos.
4) You will purchase inexpensive, high-altitude tickets that provide you with a bird’s eye view of the arena but event staff will usher you to seats closer to the competition floor so the arena “appears full on television” because it’s March in New England and no one wanted to make that trip. Also, depending on arena capacity, you may be able to move around the arena to empty seats for greater proximity to your favorite gymnasts or events.
5) If you choose to travel solo, which you should because everyone should vacation on one’s own at some point, be prepared to appear like a weirdo loner in the arena. If you are female, people may go out of their way to be friendly to you and ensure that you are enjoying your time in their country. If you are male, tell me how this goes because I honestly have no clue.
6)You may attract attention by screaming your head off for the only other people from your home country in the entire arena. The lack of your home country’s flag may cause you to carry around a small flag for future competitions and subsequently win a bridal shower “who has the most junk in their purse” game.
7) Prior to the conclusion of the event, you will make plans for your next gymnastics trip. You will look at every competition calendar you can get your hands on a try to find a way to gather the funds and vacation time to make the next trip happen.
8) Depending on the length of the competition, you may begin to suffer from gymnastics fatigue. Between qualifications, team finals, all around, and event finals, you will spend more time watching gymnastics than than most people spend gazing in a mirror throughout their entire lifetime. Towards the final days of the competition you may decide to duck out early before junior beam finals because your eyes have begun to glaze over and all the gymnasts appear extremely similar. The remedy for this is pizza, frozen yogurt, and Law and Order: UK with Cyrillic subtitles. Works 1 out of 1 time.
9)You will visit wonderful places you probably would not see otherwise! You may travel to Europe for the first time and then for a second time a few months later! You may visit a place you’ve been a million times before but see a new aspect or angle of the location! All due to the amazing sport that needs to become a mainstream sport like right now.
10) You will have an amazing time! Whether you go to a city close to your home or a country you’ve never been to before you will enjoy every second of it and it will cause your love for the best sport in the world to expand exponentially with every trip.