By Omulo Okoth
For 13-year-old Jesus D’Acosta, the London Olympics is the best thing that has happened to him. Just like many people at the games, D’Acosta is making history by attending the Olympics; it is his first time.
The Grade Seven pupil in an English-curriculum school in Bucaramanga, Colombia, is among hundreds of thousands of sports fans and tourists who have invaded London by trains, buses and planes just to be part of the Games, the world’s biggest sporting and cultural jamboree.
With D’Acosta is an uncle, a shooter. The teenager, who speaks good English compared to the general standards of Spanish-speaking South Americans, says he is a close friend of his widowed grandfather.
Like a magnet
He hopes to participate in the Olympics in future, he tells The Standard.
Like a magnetic, the Olympic Stadium pulls thousands of spectators each day since the games started on August 3. When these fans’ countrymen and women compete, they cheer them on and if the win, the cheering is deafening, and fanatical.
They roar in unison, in disappointment for a false start, failure to clear a height and perform Mexican waves, which make the atmosphere inside the stadium quite colourful.
After the end of the programme, the fans disappear into trains and buses, returning to their abodes. Luckily, transport in the city is so efficient that the huge crowds disappear almost instantly. In Nairobi, the jam that would follow such a day could last for days.
The fans are usually back to the stadium the following day draped in their countries’ national flags or wearing their national attires. These fans are so patriotic that women get their nails painted in their country’s national colours. Olympics is also about beauty. Those who cannot catch attention on the field do it away from it.
Skimpily dressed body sellers display their wares without a care. Sex is very much part of the game. A company that makes condoms distributed 150,000 condoms, for free, in the village where athletes are putting up.
Away from the Olympic venues, tourists are flocking to clubs and pubs, enjoying the British binging culture for which their football hooligans and rugby fans are notorious.
Olympic Mythology, a British museum report, has it that the Olympics of yore used to feature naked athletes, because the loincloth worn at the time would trip them while running.
Olympics provided a perfect pattern of sexual behaviour in Greek and Roman societies in antiquity, though subject to certain etiquette. Things have since changed and athletes wear kits.
“If images on pottery are to be believed, athletes were naked, not only while training and competing but at the prize-giving and the feasting and dancing that followed the day’s events,” Evening Standard’s Brian Sewell, quoting British Museum, reported.
London 2012 has attracted the flashiest, and shiniest kit designs by famous designers.
This is a cultural Olympics, too, a competition for designers.