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Watch out for the athletes who make it look easy. They are the ones who have poured agonies of effort into every millisecond of their game. Olympic gymnastics champion Kyle Shewfelt is a prime example. The 'Style of Kyle' was practically balletic, but every 'effortless' gesture was the product of intense, obsessive hard work.
CBC's gymnastics and rrampoline analyst explores the many layers of mental and physical effort that excellence demands in his new autobiography 'Make it Happen', but almost more fascinating than his years of chasing a perfect routine, is his time spent adrift when the competitive career ended. Kyle tried to fit into a few new careers, and he is no enemy of hard work...but it wasn't until he was slapped in the face by the obvious that he remembered- Gymnastics! That's what I love- I'll open a gym!
On today's new Player's Own Voice podcast, Kyle and his fellow Calgarian Anastasia Bucsis broaden the talk to issues that define his sport internationally now. Why are male gymnasts revered in Germany and Japan, but elsewhere seen as lesser athletes than those in team contact sports? Why can't robo-judging take some of the bias out of artistic gymnastics scores? And why do Gymnastic routines and difficulty points never stay the same from one season to the next?
Listen and you'll be watching Gymnastics like a pro when the Tokyo games get underway.
Something new from Player's Own Voice this season: this will be CBC Sports' first podcast to lead into, go straight through and then follow up after the Summer Olympics. We're stoked to sit down with athletes at the pinnacle of their careers.
Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective. To listen to the entire fourth season, subscribe for free on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you do your other podcast listening.