Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Eric Wrestles a 420 Pound Sumo Champion! Or wishes He Had...

For those of you who didn't know, Asia is a great passion of mine! What began as a passion for Korea has spread into a deep love, respect, (or atleast appreciation) for Asian culture as a whole. So naturally, I was thrilled to see a sign at our local library for an Asian Festival here in Columbus! Especially one where parking is free, there is no entrance fee, weekend-long performances are all free, vendors will be showcasing their international wares, and the food promises to be legitimately exotic and tasty! Eric entertained the idea--at first out of deference for my passion, I think-- until I looked up the schedule online and found out there were going to be REAL sumo wrestlers there! Then he was suddenly sincerely excited about attending! I mean, I think he would have been happy to come with me because he loves experiencing other cultures too, especially if there is food involved;... but now he was actively participating in the planning and tried to recruit other buddies (his selling point was always "there're going to be sumo wrestlers, man, come on!").

Saturday afternoon we tackled the challenge of finding parking, waiting for the shuttle, getting food quickly (we chose Cambodian food because the line was shortest-- and it was delicious! Loved the spicy sweet dipping sauce for my ginormous burrito-sized spring roll! Sorry, we didn't really take many pictures of our food.), and settling in for a boring announcer...but the moves from the 420 pound American International Wrestling Champion (who happens to be from Idaho--Eric was proud!) and the 300 pound Mongolion International Wrestling Champion made it all worth it! They were very impressive... Eric and I were both surprised to see how flexible they are (doing the splits, low squats, the works) and to hear that the American guy actually ran a marathon earlier this year (I'm skeptical about the definition of the word 'run')! I guess they are pretty good athletes despite appearances!
They did lots of warmup exercises.One reminded me of how the boys in Eric's family scoop out the air around them with cupped hands after they pass gas so that others can 'enjoy' the smell too. (Sorry the announcer is so boring and that there are so many pauses. Couldn't figure out how to edit down the video.) The matches only last 3-10 seconds each. I think the longest one we witnessed was about 11 seconds. Eric was waiting for them to ask for volunteers to go up and wrestle so that he could school them with his skills, but the Mayor took too long getting whupped. We had to settle for a personal photoshoot with them after the matches. I really didn't mind... except he was pretty sweaty... cold, clammy sweat. Super nice guy, though! Here you see, he is wearing his diaper (that is not what it is called, mind you.)

There was also a cool sport called Takraw or Krataw or something like that played similarly to volleyball only the ball about the size of a whiffle ball could only be touched by the feet and head. There were so many back flips and amazing leg kicks from the players we couldn't believe it! Talk about flexibility and acrobatics! Extremely entertaining sport! All the videos we took of it are too large to post here, so if you'd like to see some Takraw/Krataw in action, just ask and we can show ya via email or something.

We ate some delicious Korean food for dinner and Eric was so proud of the red pepper flakes in his teeth he insisted on a picture to document the evidence.

What a fun day at Asian Festival 2008!


  1. That sounds so great! I love that you got some authentic fun food AND sumo wrestlers. You're brave going in for the sweaty hug picture. :)

  2. Eric, I'm grateful you didn't get a chance to wrestle. No comment on your skills, but the size difference would have had you bent and broken over they guy's knee, hon.

  3. that sounds like so much fun! so authentic and all!

    as far as my little girl goes, i rarely make hamburgers. she doesnt even like them. silly girl!