If you asked me yesterday, I don’t think “world champion yo-yo routine’’ would have made my list of Most Impressive Feats of Skill and Hand-Eye Coordination, but as of this morning I’ve had to make some edits.
YouTube channel c3yoyodesign (yes, there are entire YouTube channels dedicated to yo-yos) published a video on Saturday of Gentry Stein, the winner of the 1A division at this year’s World Yo-Yo Contest in Prague. Over the course of three minutes and 15 seconds, Stein shows off his best moves set to the thumping bass of an electronic dance track.
According to yoyonews.com (yes, there are entire websites dedicated to reporting news about yo-yos), the routine netted Stein a score of 88.2 – enough to beat second place finisher Takeshi Matsuura by 1.5 points.
Now might be a good time to get into how weird this subculture of yo-yo fanatics is and perhaps poke fun at the idea of a national competition based around a child’s toy, but that doesn’t really seem fair since if any of us tried to do half the things Stein pulled off, we’d take out our own eye.
Plus, Stein is just 18 years old (basing this on the fact that he was 15 years old in 2009) and is good enough at yo-yoing that a company actually sponsors him to do it! Yes, while we all sit at our desks tapping away at keyboards and praying for Fridays, there’s a teenager that just got paid to go to Prague for the weekend and play with yo-yos for cash prizes.
So maybe we should hold off on all the jokes. After all, Stein is from California, so technically the United States is at the top of the yo-yo world right now. And if America being the best at bizarre, niche competitions isn’t something we can all get behind, I don’t know what is.