UPDATE: The shorter clip of this rally was made private on YouTube, so we're giving you the whole two minutes here, instead.
Originally published March 4, 2015:
One minute, 24 seconds is usually not enough time for anything. But, if you're in the thick of an intense game of volleyball — 1 minute, 24 seconds is everything.
Exhibit A: This YouTube clip, fittingly titled "Incredible Women's Volleyball Rally In China," which resurfaced on reddit this week (the longer version, which shows the entire nearly two-minute rally, is here). Volleyball in this country has a formidable history, with former national star Lang Ping (a.k.a. the "Iron Hammer") paving the way for China's women's national volleyball team in the '70s and '80s to win four world championships and the gold medal in both the 1984 and 2004 Olympics.
It's unconfirmed whether the women in the video are Olympians-in-the-making, but they're riveting nonetheless. Watch and behold as the ball is served into play, and the two women's teams commence an intense pattern of digs, sets, and spikes. The score is 2-1. There are a couple of emergency play j-strokes and near-misses, but the ball keeps flying high, at times rocketing off the screen.
As the announcer makes his comments in Mandarin (typical announcer things like "Can't lose that one," "Bang-up job," and "What a kill"), you get the warm, fuzzy feeling that the emotion of sports — with or without a translator — is universal. The swoosh of the net, the squeak of shoes, the crowd cheering...it's familiar, and we adore it.
We'll shut up now and let you watch the amazing play for yourself.