After being catapulted into the 1980s in my last two posts, I’ve now flipped into the 21st century after a day in awe at OSG12, which you’re supposed to know is Offline Sports Games 2012. It was a weekend full of all the coolest sports of 2011 – BMX (my son calls it “jumpy bikes”), XTR Roller (once called scooters), inline (formerly rollerblading) and two whose names have just been shortened – skateboarding (often just skate) and breakdancing (just break). Swarms of kids milled about, in skinny jeans, big t-shirts and those hulking flat shoes that have never appealed to me. The average age was probably 15 (even with my 5-year-old tagging along, I was pulling the average up). They didn’t seem excited (no one echoed my gasps of awe at the stunts the BMX riders were pulling off on a two-jump course, and very few even applauded), but it certainly seemed like the place to be for every teenager in Budapest. Did I mention it was on top of a mall?
I felt at once very old, inwardly cringing at the cigarettes hanging out of too many teenage mouths, and very hip, taking my kindergartner into a world he’d soon know a lot better than I ever will. And though these sports may be dripping with coolness, all super-branded by the makers of all the crazy clothes and equipment, they’re still challenging sports that take dedication, perseverance, strength and skill. I just hope all the lounging teenagers sometimes actually participate. But it’s enough if my kid does. Though I’m not sure I won’t cover my eyes the first time I see him do a loop-dee-loop 50 feet in the air. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to watch him land. Or spin around on his head. Sounds like fun to me. Wish I were 15 again!
For more info, see www.offline.hu (in Hungarian). A disclaimer: my brother-in-law works for this company, the organizer of OSG12. But that’s not why I went. I just like the “jumpy bikes.”