Michael Jordan meets Tchaikovsky

“Poetry in motion!” That’s a description applied to some of the best moments in sport. But instead of poetry, what about music? Chinese pianist Lang Lang – the 26-year-old who played at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics – has been speaking to the BBC about some of his sporting inspirations as he caresses the keys. When he plays Tchaikovsky? It’s basketball player, Michael Jordan, who comes to mind. But Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt also fill his fingers with fire. Is it the same for you? Do you forever link some sport or sports stars with pieces of music? Or do they inspire you to other works of art? And why?

7 Responses to “Michael Jordan meets Tchaikovsky”

  1. 1 Jessica in NYC
    September 18, 2008 at 21:27

    I am already competitive, so if I am playing a recreational sport I wouldn’t say I “push” myself to play harder, because of sports icons, I do it because I want to win. I don’t idolized sports players or any pop culture icons, so I do not see or use them as symbols of success for my goals. However, seeing athletes like the Dara Torres at 41 years old win a silver medal defying the odds and Sanya Richards coming in from behind to win the gold in the women’s relay is exciting and a little motivating.

  2. 2 Tom D Ford
    September 19, 2008 at 03:06

    I’ve always thought of alpine skiing as dancing on snow and my favorite tune to get pumped for it is “American Patrol” by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.

    I used to race slaloms, giant slaloms, and downhills and I learned that while pro football players (American football) generate somewhere around an eighth of a horsepower, a downhiller deals with somewhere up around three horsepower.

    And a downhiller is an adrenaline junkie, you have to dance on the edge, going over and pulling back, going over and pulling back, finding your own limits of fear and then pushing those boundaries out just a little bit at a time. It’s not fearlessness, it’s facing your fears and pushing them back, enlarging your range, owning more of yourself.

    That edge dancing creates a kind of internal music, a flow state wherein awareness of time stops and all that is there is you, the course, and “how can I go faster”.


  3. 3 Danny Aeberhard
    September 19, 2008 at 11:07

    @ Tom — wow, sounds amazing! I know Glenn Miller, but don’t know the tune American Patrol off the top of my head. I’ll dig it out. What are your favourite skiing performances of all time, and how would you set them to music?

  4. 4 Shakhoor Rehman
    September 20, 2008 at 12:10

    Art , good, bad or indifferent can be inspired by anything or anyone.

  5. 5 Tom D Ford
    September 21, 2008 at 07:48

    @ Danny Aeberhard

    I have thought about your question a lot and I just don’t know how to answer it.

    Whose skiing performance? Bode Miller or the other historical greats?

    The Flight of the Valkyrie is a great piece to think of of in the starting gate.

    I suggest asking the current Ipod wearers what they use for inspiration or calming down.

    In my experience you have to control your own psychology, you have already trained your body, your muscles, to do what needs to be done, you just have to get your mind out of the way and let and watch your body do it’s thing. You have to ski “out of your mind”.

  6. 6 Nelson
    September 22, 2008 at 07:51

    I see Cristiano Ronaldo or Robinho’s step overs, I remember Italian opera music.

  7. April 21, 2009 at 20:13

    don’t write that micheal jordan meet him cause kids belive it all like me i put that for my project an i got an F!!!!!! please don’t put that

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