Stuttgart Olympics 2012

I bet you were probably wondering “Huh. Why haven’t they posted about the Stuttgart Olympics? I heard it was all the rage in Germany.” or “Didn’t the Stuttgart Olympics begin a few days ago?” Well, you’re right. The thing is, we haven’t had much time to post because we’ve been training.

That’s right. We’re in the Stuttgart Olympics this year! We both qualified (we’re in the top 1 percent, so that wasn’t a surprise), and we’ve started a rigorous training schedule. It’s not easy. But then, if it were easy, everyone would be in the Olympics.

Our sport is The Swing In The Woods Back There. A sport accepted into the Olympics back in May. You get points for every event you complete. For those of you that aren’t familiar, a description of the events follows.

Disk Swing Diagram

The Swing In The Woods Back There (source: The Official Website Of The Swing In The Woods Back There)


Jump On The Swing From A High Distance

Alissa Swing Delight

Alissa. Notice the excellent form.

Informally known as the “jump-on” event, this event requires the athlete to leap onto the disk swing from one of the platforms mounted in the mountain. The mountain can be anywhere from several centimeters (high school level) to several decimeters (professional level).

Since the swing doesn’t quite reach the platforms, the challenge is to leap off the platform, free-fall through the air, and land on the swing platform as it’s swinging. It takes most contestants a few tries before they work up the courage to move up to a higher platform. It’s not uncommon to see professional athletes pee themselves.

Back-swing Kiss Without Bashing In Your Face

Informally known as “awkward flailing”, this one is one of the most challanging, since it combines the jump-on event with an additional requirement. When the swinger returns “on the backswing”, they and their partner must make contact with their lips. Nothing else may touch.

This event is typically rated much like diving or gymnastics. Points are taken off for “smearing”, which is where you get slobber all over your partners cheek. “Bashing” is when you accidentally hit them too hard, causing them to stumble on the mountain (which is considered dangerous and not romantic at all). Accuracy counts as well; too much cheek and not enough lip, is considered a “half” or a “fourth”.

This event is often rated in multiples; if the swinger can successfully kiss twice after a single jump, extra points are awarded.

Swing Flair

Alissa, adding flair to a jump-on

Running Push Event

Fast Swing

It's difficult for cameras to take photos of the event, as the athletes typically move too fast.

Fallen out of favor in the past few years, this event requires that one person swing, while the other gives them a push. This is not as easy as it sounds, since the swinger tends to move faster than an average person can sprint down the mountain. It typically results in the runner face down in the sand.

Other Events and Considerations

Naturally, the sport has evolved in some circles. The jump-on event is often garnished with trick moves, where the athlete holds onto the swing with only one leg, or swings off-center, intentionally causing dangerous rotation. This area of the sport is evolving.

The dismount is strictly judged. After every event, cleanly leaping off the swing is highly valued. Stumbling down the mountain is considered poor form.

The most typical injury comes from repeatedly bashing the seat into your crotch.

New members of the sport most often complain of “getting sand all over the living room, and how did I get sand in the bed”.

Final Thoughts

I’m sore. But that’s to be expected. You don’t compete at this level without some aches and pains. Maybe some of you can watch the event on TV and cheer us on! It’s always nice to know your loved ones are behind you. In the end, it makes all the training worthwhile.


2 thoughts on “Stuttgart Olympics 2012

  1. Mom says:

    Reminds me of Someone who, at age 5, broke their collar bone jumping out of a swing, and later mused, “I always wondered why no one jumped out of the swing backwards. Now I know ”

    They must have been training for the Stuttgart Olympics. Child prodigy, no doubt.

  2. […] parks around here are generally awesome. I believe you know about the rope swings. They’re awesome. And the jungle gyms, while typically too small for us to play on, […]

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