The pandemic posed a lot of challenges to the Olympic organizers, but like a nightclub that tried a little too hard to convince its patrons, it was really cool and not everything went well.
Beach volleyball is usually home to the best party atmosphere you can find in the game. Think of Bondi in Sydney 21 years ago and Copacabana in 2016. Here, foreign tourists (remember?) Wrapped the most beautiful beaches offered by the host city.
Sadly, Covid refused to confirm everyone’s attendance in Tokyo. And so far, I’ve been told many times how creepy these Olympics are, with no fans on the stands. Some sports embrace fate and are athlete-centric. But at beach volleyball, they are still trying to hold a party.
Strobe lights in the four corners of the stadium flash green, red, yellow and blue, with music like those found in high school dance, and enthusiastic commentators live everywhere.
Sure it’s a bit weird, but can you really blame them for trying to create a little atmosphere? Slide it. It’s better than sitting in awkward silence.
But before Wednesday night, a pair of Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar set foot on the sand due to a clash between Italians Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toss. There was a moment when the clinge factor went up to 11.
An Australian announcer spent 30 seconds explaining the origin of “g’day” to a Japanese colleague. What else do you do if Australians are competing and there is no noise from the surrounding crowd to fill the silence before the action begins?
In an attempt to bridge the cultural gap between green and gold girls and everyone except Australia, stand athletes and the media detail how traditional Australian greetings are an abbreviation for “good day.” It was treated as an explanation.
Then, when asked about the strange atmosphere, Clancy said:
“Because the crowd brings that extra level of adrenaline, I think it actually holds the athlete’s nerves a bit more without the crowd and screams and screams.
“We all love performance. That’s why … we’re all Olympic athletes. We love big stages, but as soon as we step on the court, we zone out and keep going.”
Thankfully, the Australian performance wasn’t tediously worth it. Altacho del Solar and Clancy have won the tournament’s knockout stage twice in a row, beating their Italian opponents in a straight set.
They won the tight first set 22-20, bounced off nicely in the second set, stared at the initial deficit and then climbed to 15-11. Soon it was 18-14 and the missed serve by the Italians placed Australia within two points west.
Altacho del Solar and Clancy tightened and lost the next four points, but eventually converted the fifth matchpoint to secure the second set 21-19.
Clash of Australian beach volleyball culture, Taliqua Clancy and Maria Feria Tacho del Solar
Source link Clash of Australian beach volleyball culture, Taliqua Clancy and Maria Feria Tacho del Solar