Thread: Sumo Wrestling news . . .
01-02-2004, 12:37 AM #1
Sumo Wrestling news . . .
. . . from the Weekly World News, one of my favorite newspapers . . .
Sumo wrestling is the hottest new fad to hit the United States since Hula Hoops and transistor radios swept the country in 1959.
And it's only going to get bigger, say analysts, because it's being driven by a built-in audience of over 140 million flabby Americans who are starved for entertainment other than operas, old John Candy movies and belly-flop contests that feature fat people.
"And sumo isn't just for watching -- we're seeing more and more people joining classes and buying books because they want to participate in the sport," says researcher and author Deborah Blakermann.
"It isn't hard to see why. Historically, Americans have held fat people up to ridicule, treated them with contempt, and punished them with mean-spirited jokes and by calling them awful names.
"But in Japan, sumo wrestlers, who make great shows of eating like pigs and are proud of their flab, are revered as living gods.
"Given the choice, what would you do -- diet to lose weight, which most people can't do anyway, or align yourself with respected athletes who are even fatter than you are?
"I know you're going to side with the sumos. That's why this sport is taking this country by storm. That's why it's here to stay."
Nikki "Miss Piggy" Caddle, 28, of Los Angeles, has been wrestling sumostyle in bars and small arenas in Southern California for the past 16 months. Tilting the scales at a pointer-spinning 537 pounds, she, by all accounts, is the best lady sumo wrestler in the U.S.
"I roller-coaster dieted for years but the fat always came back," says Caddle, raven-tressed and 5-foot-2. "Now I don't worry about it. As a sumo, I've found my calling."
David Ferkley, 26, of Minneapolis, couldn't agree more. The 672-pound former stockbroker says sumo saved him from suicide.
"After awhile you just get sick of the jokes, sick of the stares and sick of people treating you like you're a freak," he says. "I'm not saying that a lot of people don't think sumos are freaks -- they do.
"But I'll guarantee you one thing -- they won't say it to my face like they used to. Now people treat me with respect."
The sport dates back 2,000 years and, like everything else in Japan, it's steeped in tradition.
Oddly enough, there's hardly any wrestling involved in the sport.
Most of the time participants, known as "rikishi," simply huff and puff around a sandy ring performing strange rituals like clapping their hands, throwing salt on the ground, walking in circles, raising their legs, and stomping their feet.
That laid-back, devil-may-care approach to the competition, says Blakermann, seems to be the No. 1 reason fat Americans find it so appealing: It's as easy to watch as it is to participate in.
"Even when the rikishis finally do get around to making contact, it's a bit of a stretch to call it wrestling," continues the Dallasbased expert. "Actually, all they do is push on their opponent a little and try to get him to step outside the ring."
Not surprisingly, the most important aspect of the sport is eating, which Americans have tackled with a vengeance.
In Japan, a typical sumo meal consists of a special super-high calorie stew called chanko-nabe, which is served with mountains of rice and, according to tradition, washed down with a full case of beer.
U.S. athletes have altered the meal to suit Western tastes. The beer stays, but Caddle, for instance, says she prefers a pot roast or turkey with all the trimmings, followed by cake, pie, ice cream, cookies and cupcakes, to the stew and rice favored by the Japanese.
"Sumo is beginning to pop up in venues all over the country -- from bars to amphitheaters to, in your bigger cities, basketball arenas," says Blakermann, who notes that normal-sized people often enjoy sumo but seldom with the gusto of their fat friends.
"Television contracts are being negotiated," she continues. "Professional and amateur leagues are forming. Stars are being recruited. Rookies are being trained.
"For the first time in American sport -- and this is a good thing -- people with alternative body images are reigning supreme."
01-02-2004, 12:38 AM #2
Darn . . . the pix didn't get posted . . .
01-02-2004, 12:39 AM #3
sweet....I just started advertising in there.....good to know people actually read that
01-02-2004, 12:40 AM #4
That is interesting to read, but is just another copout for fat people to blam their laziness for lack of excersie. "I'm obyess and eat all the time but it is okay, I sumo wrestle." please
01-02-2004, 06:48 PM #5Posted by 50%Natural -
Today at 01:40 AM"I'm obyess and eat all the time but it is okay, I sumo wrestle." please
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