Dubbing next handball star

When I was younger I used to pretend that my living room was a big, square tumbling mat and that I was an Olympic gymnast. I used to do cartwheels and roundoffs from one corner to the next and dance like I was Dominic Moceanu.

But I got too tall and heavy for gymnastics.

Then I started playing field hockey. And I was really good at it. I had some really great talent around me — namely my older sister and her friends. I was fast and had a good drive, but I didn’t have the quickest of ball-handling skills.

I played volleyball, but I’m not that tall. My coach had me try my hands at setting, but I just couldn’t get the overhead passes right. I could dig and serve, but I didn’t feel that was the sport that would give me the most glory.

Then I turned to track and field. I was very good at hurdles and the triple jump and became one of the best in Virginia in a short time. I was good, but not Jackie Joyner-Kersee or (now-disgraced) Marion Jones great.

I used to play badminton in my backyard, but who really takes that seriously?

I have always loved the Olympics. I never missed an opening ceremony and always watched as much as I could. And you better believe that on opening weekend I went to the Ralph Lauren store at Ala Moana to get my official gear.

I always thought that it would be the ultimate experience to be a part of the games, but never really thought there was a sport I could be good enough at to make a national team.

I’m a fairly athletic person, but to be on the Olympic national gymnastics, volleyball, track or even table tennis team, you have to uber-exceptional.

I was too big to be a gymnast, too small to be a volleyball player, too average for a hockey player and slow for a hurdler.

I wished I tried archery. That seemed like a pretty noble sport.

But now I think I found my sport. I was watching one of the many channels of Olympic coverage — I think it was the Korean channel — and caught a handball game. I completely forgot about that sport.

It’s like water polo on a court, basketball with a tiny soccer ball and no basket. Something like that. But let me tell you, that brought back memories. I forgot about playing handball in elementary school.

I could be the next big American handball goalie. We didn’t have a team in this Olympics, but look out London 2012!

Once I get back in shape, I can play some handball. I can be the goalie. I can wave my arms around.

I watched a couple of games and those girls don’t stop anything. There was one game where in 24 minutes the score was 25-19. That was so amazing to me. The game was fast and since the girls kept scoring, I was thinking, “I could do that.”

So I have a message for the United States Olympic Committee: If you want to form a handball team and you need someone to stand in front of the goal to wave her arms and not stop anything, I’m your girl.

And just to mix it up a bit, I might even stop a couple. I have OK reflexes.

I may be old and a little out of shape, but we have an athletic club. I could try to train every once in a while.

We already have a handful of Olympians with Hawai‘i ties in the Olympics in Beijing, then why not me in London? University of Hawai‘i alums Heather Bown, Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, Kim Willoughby, Clay Stanley, Kane‘ohe’s Bryan Clay, Kapolei’s Clarissa Chun and, one of my favorites, Kahuku’s Natasha Kai, are all the best at their sports.

We could have someone who’s kind of good at her sport. I can kind of be good at handball, I think. Why not? I can’t be any worse than any of the teams I saw on TV, right?

• Lanaly Cabalo, sports editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com


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