The 2012 Summer Olympics are underway in London. The thing about the Olympics is that, for two weeks out of every four years, they make us obsess over a bunch of weird sports that we otherwise ignore. I’d probably rebel if I came home one day and my girlfriend was randomly watching 25-meter rapid-fire pistol, but come Olympics time I’m like, “Oh yeah, let’s watch some SHOOTING!”
And so I thought it might be interesting to go search out some other sports – weird ones that I’d never tried – and do stories on them. It’d kind of be like an alternative Olympics, without medals. I pitched the idea to The Madeleine Brand Show, and they were excited about it.
The first story I thought of was dragon boat racing. See, one day a few months ago, I was crossing a street in Pasadena, and the guy in front of me had a t-shirt for the Los Angeles Racing Dragons. I stopped him to ask what that was all about, and he explained the sport to me: 20 paddlers in a long, dragon-shaped canoe. A few weeks ago, LARD let me come out to Long Beach and try the sport myself. Here’s the story: