May 29, 2013
The Fan Experience in Asia
By Nelson Loaiza

We will select our favorite, we will cheer loudly and we will get inspired to work harder and make this community and sport grow across Asia. 

For most of us, the Open was filled with emotions, switching the mindset from “athlete” to “fan” several times during the five weeks.

As athletes, we were stressed with a mix of nerves, anxiety and excitement, often having slept little the night before we attempted the workouts.

Many attempted workouts more than once; we tried to find the best way to heal our hands between 13.4 and 13.5; we sported our favorite or “lucky” workout gear; we created customized Leaderboards, checking them out several times throughout the week or even day, and we all woke up early to see the live announcement of the next workout.

And this was our only subject of conversation for five weeks. We were the annoying relatives, girlfriends and boyfriends, wives and husbands … basically we would talk about it with anyone who would listen, and even those who wouldn’t. We spent endless nights thinking about how we could have done better and vowed to work on whatever weaknesses we discovered along the way.

As fans, we checked the worldwide Leaderboard countless times. We watched Jason Khalipa and Neal Maddox’s performances; debated over who would challenge Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir; took a close look at Josh Bridges, and an even closer look at Samantha Briggs’ overall dominance.

We followed our favorite athletes. Our jaws hit the ground at some of the scores being submitted. We watched our local favorite athletes, the best in our region and our boxes and admired those at the top.

Now it is time to be a fan again. The Asia Regional starts in just three days. We will enjoy the same excitement, but without the pressure of having to complete the events ourselves. Now, all our guesses and predictions will be tested, and some of our burning questions will be answered. We can look forward to having certain expectations fulfilled, though no doubt there will be some shocks and surprises in store for us, too.

We will select our favorites, we will cheer loudly and we will get inspired to work harder and make this community and sport grow across Asia.

The time to be a fan, the time to relax and enjoy, the time to cheer, has come.