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Monday, November 21, 2011

Hey, Sports Radio 610 is Kite Flying a Sport?

When I heard about the Sports Radio 610 contest which gives one listener a trip to any sporting event in the world, one question popped into my mind: "Is kite flying a sport?"

I lived in Shirone, Japan from 1993-95. In that small town northwest of Tokyo, I participated in my favorite sporting event ever. Early every June(June 7-11 in 2012), the town shuts down for a long weekend known as the Shirone Giant Kite Battle. Preparations for the event begin months ahead of time as numerous neighborhood groups build 30-foot tall kites for the competition. During the event, groups of 30-40 people fly kites on both sides of the Shinano River. The goal of the contest is to cross ropes with a kite from the other side of the river. At this point, a tug-of-war is held to determine who has the strongest ropes.

After the sun goes down, the kites are put away until the next morning and neighbors gather for sushi, sake and a celebration of the day's events. I have been to two Final Fours, numerous baseball and basketball play-off games, and a baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and I have enjoyed them all. However, if Sports Radio 610 called me to ask me what sporting event I would like them to send me to, I would answer, "Let's go fly a kite!"

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