The Aurora Games

On Wednesday, J and I went to the gymnastics night of the Aurora Games. The Aurora Games is a brand-new festival that’s billed as an athletic competitions of Women of The Americas vs Women of The World. For this first-time-ever, the sports included are tennis, gymnastics, basketball, ice hockey, figure skating, table tennis, and beach volleyball. I meant to post this earlier, but you still make it to go see figure skating, table tennis, or beach volleyball. J and I are going back to see volleyball on Sunday.

Along with the main competitions, the festival has included expensive sports clinics and free talks. There are a ton of big sports names involved, including, for example, Jackie Joyner Kersee and Nadia Comaneci.

Gymnastics was super-fun! The competitor that you’re most likely to know about is Katelyn Ohashi, whose perfect 10 floor routine went viral recently.

Remember? If you don’t remember, you should probably just click over and watch it right now. Really. There is so much to love about this video. It is impeccable gymnastics, of course, but she just looks so happy. And the other thing I love is how psyched and joyful her whole entire team is as they cheer her on and dance along. Well, the whole evening had that vibe. Which is not a surprise, because the night was planned by Ohashi’s UCLA coach, Valerie Kondos Field. In fact, our second-favorite gymnast of the night, Danusia Francis, was on the same team.

Forgive my blurry photos–those ladies move fast! Pretty much whenever there was a free moment, they were playing super-fun music and everybody was dancing. So it was like a party. I wish that I could have followed them all to wherever they went after the show.

It was not like a typical gymnastics meet. They dropped the vault and uneven parallel bars events to introduce us to some “up-and-coming” variations on gymnastics, including Power Tumbling (basically a hugely long serious of tumbles on the long trampolines that gymnasts call a tumble track), Parkour (where athletes freestyle their way through an obstacle course for speed and/or style),

and Aesthetic gymnastics, which is a team acrobatic/rhythmic gymnastics competition.

Parkour was especially interesting because it had much more of a casual, badass skater vibe. The competitors were in slouchy pants and sweatshirts instead of the sparkly leos. But all the different competitors were cheering each other on, no matter the sport or the team. It was a total Girl Power Fest.

The whole evening was super-fun. It made me a little bit crazy that the place wasn’t packed–I just don’t think it was advertised particularly well. But we had a ton of fun, and we’re looking forward to heading back to the Times Union Center for volleyball on Sunday.

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