At the Olympics, Brazilians have taken being at home quite literally, because they refuse to let anyone tell them how they should act in the stands. Since the games began about a week ago, officials have told Brazilians time and again to stay quiet at events like table tennis, fencing, and swimming. As huge soccer followers, Brazilians know that a match switches between boisterous cheers and jeers for most of the 90+ minutes. However, other sports require that fans follow a different set of rules. Brazilians have thrown common sports etiquette out the window and have decided to chant throughout every sport.
They’ve frustrated officials, but they’ve also shaken up athletes. “We are not used to this in table tennis,” Spanish athlete Galia Dvorak told The New York Times. “It was just weird.” Obviously, I disagree, because things like table tennis are not as exciting (sorry, not sorry), and this is adding to my enjoyment. But then again, I’m not the one who’s unable to listen to how the ball bounces off a paddle. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
For Chinese-born Gui Lin who represents Brazil in table tennis, the noise became too much. At one point, she faced the crowd and motioned them to quiet down. “They have to focus, and there are three other tables playing,” she said about her opponents. “And I thought it wasn’t right to disturb the others because of me.”
But certainly Hugo Calderon – who got the welcoming of a super athlete – agrees with me. Brazilians cheered for him every time he scored, as well as anytime that his competitor, Tang Peng, made a mistake. They even sang songs for Hugo, so Alexandre Araújo – a press officer for the Brazilian table tennis team – wasn’t wrong when he said fans had “come with a football heart.”
It’s not as though everyone is hating the overly enthusiastic Brazilian spectators. As a matter of fact, beach volleyball player April Ross said she’d love to see them cheering her and teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings.
And even Team USA goalie Hope Solo, who Brazilian fans took down, is into it. Before the Olympics began, Solo criticized the Brazilian government for how it handled Zika. Despite affirmations that Zika didn’t pose a threat to Olympians, Solo said she didn’t see herself leaving her hotel room unless she had to compete. She also shared a picture of herself wearing a netted mask and of her arsenal of repellent to show she was prepared for Zika, according to the Daily Beast.
Before Team USA’s first match last week, she apologized for being “really tough on the people of Brazil.” But it didn’t save her from the jeers. Every time she touched the ball during the US-New Zealand game, Brazilians booed at her and chanted Zika. “I’m glad the fans had fun,” she later said. “And if they had fun at my expense, more power to them. What goes on around me in the stadium, honestly, it doesn’t really matter.”
So expect to see more of Brazilians ragging on Solo, and doing whatever they want. With more than 50 medals already awarded, we’ve picked 8 times Brazilians won gold for their spectator behavior: