Archive

sports

I have no clue how this started but all I know is that I am stuck in it now, and it will end soon I presume…or should I say I hope…

Working on a movie takes a lot : time, efforts, researches, contacts, transactions, focus, thoughts, imagination and the more preparation you have, the best it is when comes the time to press the rec button. However even if fully prepared you can’t buy the success.

Some time ago I heard a speleologist on the radio in a very interesting interview that started with : ” what I like about my job, our should I call it condition, is that I must know when to give up. And I give up far more often than reaching my goal “. Quite surprising statement …

With time passing and slowly getting older, I must admit that my first sport passions that were basketball and beach volleyball are replaced by a long time forgotten passion : hiking, trekking and every possible mountain activity.  So less running after a ball but more climbing up the hills and hoping to reach some summits.

After coming back from shootings, I am sometimes quite tired, and the last times I arrived home, I had a quick meal and then while loading and “backuping” the data ( I miss the tapes !!), I went on some internet surfing and looked on for nice summit images. It lead me to , of course, from one mountain to another to virtually reach the top of the world : the Everest. But after the traditional National Geographic on how it was created, you enter what is as well a sort of dead zone : the mountaineering reality shows.

And there is a scale of emptiness to sort them out. As well as you are having less oxygen the higher you get, the brain of tv spectators suffers from hypoxia the deeper you go into the concepts.

I used to work for a leading sportswear and great outdoors company some years ago. It was a childhood’s dream to work ifor it – being emotionally attached to the brand – and If by then I wouldn’t have suffered from a severe health issue, I am sure my path back to a sort of  mountaineering would have matured faster. A key word by then was – in 2009 – that sportswear items are taking over the flat grounds and every day’s life.

DIscovery channel followed from 2006 to 2009 (if not mistaken) climbers that were attempting the top of the Everest. Those alpinists pay approximately 70.000 USD and a guide’s organisation takes care of all. They are assessed by the leader if they can make it or not. Nobody votes via phones, you just follow those guys in their adventure.A standard documentary ? Not really….more a reality documentary show with dramatic music and stereotyped characters. But no overwhelming camera system.

Having watched that , I moved onto another continent to see about the highest point in America  : the Aconcagua. And what has been my surprise when I saw a tv program called : “el conquistador del Aconcagua”. To make it short and simple, it is a survival reality show where a couple of chosen ones will attempt a final push to the summit….after going through tests, nominations and eliminations….
None of the candidates has experience in mountaineering and only a couple seem to have a genuine interest into such activities…

I thought I was already out of breath, but I realized that my own personal climb would lead me to some extreme conditions : “Los Trepadores” or a chilean big brother stuffed with top models, pop singers and young overbreasted brainless people. Here it is simple : over 4 months they ll train them and some that would survive the boot camp might try to reach the summit. Their guide, a chilean experienced mountaineer that climbed the Everest in the 80s told them the most beautiful sentence ever : ” When climbing a mountain, you embrace a total freedom that you don’t have in any other sport ; no referees, no audience. Only one rule : it is all about you and the mountain ”

For now those people are parked in a base camp, far far away from their target  in low altitude, with jacuzzi, free food and drinks, outdoor showers to film girls in bikinis…well just another big brother….

Often guides say that the mountain doesn’t belong to anyone – and it is good to see more people sharing the passion of going up there. Everyone has a different reason for doing it and all became far more accessible than it used to be in the past….

6962 m above sea level…for almost everyone ?

by the way, “Trepadores” dictionary definition is :” people who use any possible way to climb up to a new range….translation in english is “go-getter” or “place-seeker”….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am a great sport’s fan. I even discovered that I enjoy watching most of them. Of course I have some favorite ones, and basketball is at the top of my list. So it isn’t a big surprise to say that I am carefully following the NBA finals.

Two nights ago I stood awake to watch the game 5 of the finals. I never was convinced by the Miami Heat team and this because of the “three amigos” : two out of the three couldn’t be my amigos, because of their behaviour in and off the court. So was it that for those finals I took the side of Oklahoma City Thunders, a group of young guns including a swiss made one. But from a purely basketball way of playing, my heart goes to San Antonio or Boston – this year even Indiana pleased me with their team play.

Since the beginning of June,  the soccer Euro championship is taking place in central Europe : Poland and Ukraine. Because of some family background, I am used to watch soccer – I used to play as well – and so I am always interested in those championships. But year after year , I tend to get more frustrated by the evolution of that sport and I do change channel more often. What particularly annoys me is the profile of the new players, specially the strikers : most of them don’t run, most of them are only waiting for the ball to reach them, most of them shout on each other when something isn’t done the way the wanted it to be. Overall I do have the  feeling that this sport became the most individualistic team sport.

20 years ago I was proudly wearing a complete Jordan basketball outfit in front of my TV…and watching Barcelona Olympic tournament. I was a 13 years old kid totally crazy about basketball and having the US dream team and my heroes – Magic and Bird, yes sorry despite my clothes I wasn’t such a Jordan fan – in this little box in front of me will remain a great memory. By that time all that counted to me was how to play a better game and my teachers – apart from my coach – were those guys.

In order to celebrate those 20 years, the NBA produced a documentary about the team and all the players were interviewed within the last  months : I felt back in those years – I wasn’t wearing the Jordan outfit this time but I felt like – and for 70 minutes I couldn’t believe what I was hearing : not all of them were enthusiastic about joining the team, but all of them wanted to play with their best enemies. All of them wanted to be in the team to be able to compete with their greatest rivals. And once they were onboard and taking it all far to easily vs a sparing team of young college boys (yes the first game of the Dream Team was a defeat), they used their ego to boost their talent. They worked on what the weakness of the team was to turn it onto their main strength.

So on the game five of these 2012 NBA finals I rediscovered a great team and great players that deserved their ring. I felt again like in front of the dream team ; of course the style has changed, basketball of today is far different from the one 20 years ago – as it was 40 years ago etc etc – but one thing that doesn’t change is the work out. What doesn’t change is what takes you to be a great champion : work, effort, humility and the passion for the game. The love for the game.

I will watch the rest of the Soccer Euro Championship and hope to find such. For now I can only quote a journalist who said that ” players feel like they are big guns with their national teams and that they can behave like spoiled stars, when within their normal team they are nobody, even sometimes not sure to be part of the starters”

I will watch London 2012 Olympic tournament and look forward to see which team will have this love for the game.

I am happy for Miami and their ring, and happy for Oklahoma they could make it to the finals – and even more of what this experience of the defeat will bring them.

And finally, one day, I will find a clear opportunity to show my love for the game in a movie. That will be really cool !

For now, let’s have fun and work on it !