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Ethics and Esthetics in Sport in Pétaouchnock

by Electra Pilinkton

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You are in the section: Sport / Esthetics of Everyday Life / Myth and Reality of the Blue Casserole

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Whilst the origins of traditional Petaouchnockien sports and games are primitive and deeply rooted in the agricultural past of the country, even nowadays they continue to have widespread popularity.

Pan-Throwing: This sport dates back to the red period of Petaouchnock (the periods in Petaouchnockien history are defined by colours). At this time invaders from the other side of the moon attempted to gain control of the country. The men were so busy drinking themselves into a stupor with beetroot juice that the women decided to take matters into their own hands: grabbing hold of their cooking pots – not because they were in the kitchen but because these were the heaviest thing in the house - they threw them at the enemy who immediately fled.

Since this time pot-throwing has been very popular and as well as a source of celebration and merry-making it has also become a sport officially reserved for women and is a recognized sport in the Pétaouchnockien Olympics. As the story goes these pots were full of pasta with Peshkator Freschlige and so, to this day, this delicacy is always served during official competitions – the popularity of which is only exceeded by that of the beetroot festival.

The Ice-Cube Relay Race: This very ancient team sport clearly goes back to an era when it was necessary to transport Peshkator Freschlige (frozen fish) as fast as possible from the frozen lakes to Pétaouchnockien plates. This was achieved by passing the congelna peshkator from hand to hand by a long chain of men stretching across the country. Nowadays the sport is enhanced by the symbolic inclusion of a pea in the ice-cube.

It can be practised anywhere and at any time but the official competition is always held on the first day of Spring to celebrate the first germinations and sometimes can be held on the first day of winter and serves as a reminder to always be optimistic and brave in adverse climes. It is a complete sport in the respect that it is physically demanding and at the same time morally comforting. Indeed it is recommended by doctors and psychoanalysts. However swallowing the ice-cube at the end of the race is a source of deep controversy: even amongst the same doctors who believe that gastric illnesses can be cured by ingesting the ice-cube which in itself can be a potential cure for hallucinations.

Innovative Dance: Yes – indeed! In Petaouchnock dance is considered as a sport because it requires a multi-disciplinary training. It involves a “dance- caller” who stands on a platform and directs the session and with background music suggests images. The dancer, or dancers, then have to interpret and reflect what that image suggests to them. For example, if the caller shouts out “butterfly” , the dancer dances like a butterfly, if she calls out avalanche the dancer has to imitate an avalanche; the same goes for “waterfall” or “leopard leaping”, “ a rose losing its petals” and so on. The possibilities are infinite and needless to say the sessions differ enormously depending on the personalities of the dancers and, of course, the caller.

The only combat sport in Petaouchnock is the refle-log and this is practiced under hypnosis. After having imbibed a serious dose of shugo de rogishce beet concentre ( undiluted freshly brewed beetroot juice) the beet-logger (the name given to the player) faces a mirror and fights with his reflection - in ancient times the protagonist faced a glacier at the moment when the sun hit the ice. If the mirror shattered then he was declared the winner and if he was shattered, he was the loser. “Schnarte-log” (night-time fighting) is a variation practiced under the full moon and the fighters face their shadow . However because of the risks and dangers this entails it is reserved for professionals who have had prior psychological training.

Participating in schnarte-log is one of the principle fantasies of the Petaouchnockien psyche and as such has been the subject of numerous works which explore the beauty and danger of this fight.

This book, which is very well documented and contains numerous photographs, was written by Electra Pilinkton, who as the gold medal winner in the ice-cube relay in the Petaochnockien Olympics, is an expert in her field.

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