As if the Tokyo Olympics weren’t enough of a mess already, now the horses are getting too freaked out to compete properly thanks to a sumo statue’s big, unfortunately-placed and horribly intimidating ass.
The Associated Press tells us that “a life-size sumo wrestler positioned next to the 10th obstacle on the 14-jump Olympic [equestrian] course may have distracted several horses in qualifying for the individual jumping final” last night. The issue, it seems, is that the horses were not ready to face down the chiseled cheeks the wrestler displays when they ought to be concentrating on a jump.
Pretend for a moment that you’re an athletic horse and you’re supposed to execute an athletic maneuver while looking at the image below. You simply cannot blame them.
“As you come around, you see a big guy’s [butt,]” one rider told AP. Another added that “There’s a lot to look at” and a rider was also quoted as observing that “It is very realistic.” While most of the obstacles on the course are decorated with Japanese iconography, it’s the sumo’s impressive backside that’s really distracting them. “The wrestler is facing away from approaching riders,” the article explains, “meaning that when they complete a sharp turn to take on the jump, the first thing horse and human see is the wedgie created by the wrestler’s mawashi.”
Some riders speculate that it’s the positioning of the jump itself or the stadium’s lights that are spooking the horses and not the animals’ natural curiosity over the unexpected sight of an enormous human ass. But others believe that the statue’s pose is responsible. “You know, horses don’t want to see a guy, like, looking intense next to a jump, looking like he’s ready to fight you,” one of them explained.
Maybe there’s still time to rethink the track’s setup and replace the aggressive ass statue with a more peaceful, calming set of sumo statues gently smiling in a sunflower patch.
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