Judo Fans Get Creative
Having previously maligned some of the cheering sections at Olympic events, I'll go ahead and say that the judo crowds have been great. The huge Dutch contingent was solid, as usual, with full-throated singing. The South Koreans were thundersticky but also loud. The Spaniards rang bells. The French, I believe, came dressed in red-white-and-blue Judogis, the competitive robes worn by judo players, adorned with matching curly-haired wigs.
Among the particular standouts was Raul Fuentes, a 29-year old Spaniard from Madrid, there to cheer on Spanish judo stars David Alarza and Leire Iglesias. He made me happy, because I had just asked for more sports fans in dresses when I saw him.
"This is a typical Spanish dress," he said, when I asked why he was wearing a dress. "The Flamenco is typical of the Southern part of Spain."
Well, yeah. Sure. But why was he in particular wearing this typical Spanish dress?
"Just to bring here the Spanish spirit, you know?" he said. "The hat is of a bullfighter," he said, pointing up. He rattled his right hand. "Castañuela," he said, showing me his castanets. Then he got out his fan. He's going to the tennis semifinals and some men's basketball, as well. In costume. "My dress, my hat, everything," he said.
(And yeah, I'm mostly posting this for the benefit of my boss, who's of Spanish heritage.)
And just a few seats away was 26-year old Dutch fan Boy Muilwijk. ("My parents were drunk when I was born," he said, when I asked about his unusual first name.)
He said these shirts are quite popular among Dutch football fans, who raise up the lion flap to reveal the lion maw inside. I can't say I've ever seen an American shirt like this, but I bet it would play in the States.
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