How We used To Play VII

Sports

The brutish ancestor of ribbon dancing, club swinging was an Olympic gymnastic event in 1904 and 1932. For four minutes at a time, club swingers swayed and dipped a ribbon-festooned bowling pin around their bodies. It doesn't sound too physically taxing, but back then, Olympic athletes were not the carefully groomed, fed and cocooned performers they are today. They had to save their strength for real life. Legend holds that the club-swinging American gold medalist George Roth quit the awards podium only seconds after winning gold in order to hitchhike home from the stadium in Los Angeles, California.