Aug 18, 2008

Olympics: women's volleyball

Saw two women's volleyball prelims on Sunday: China vs. Japan, and Russia vs. Serbia. The women's volleyball in China has the profile that the New York Yankees have in the US, you can see their faces all over the place, for example Adidas ads. As you'd expect, this match was very well attended. Not to mention, if you ask Chinese people which country they dislike the most, they'll almost always answer "Japan". Needless to say, this had the makings of a really emotional and loud volleyball match.

The view was from behind the court for the first match, and then at least two thirds of the stadium cleared out and we were able to move to center court to watch the Russian team.

It's a girly high-five after scoring on Japan.

Mid-game action.

The second match, Russia is blocking a hit by Serbia.

They've got a nice cheerleading squad to entertain folks between games.

I dig this Japanese guy. He's either very brave, very patriotic, or very drunk to dive into a nest of rabid Chinese volleyball fans wearing his Japanese outfit and meatball flag draped over his back like a cape. I would equate what he's doing to going into a den of pitbulls with steaks duct-taped to your legs. Luckily China won, and this fellow got to go home in one piece.

The majority of the riotous Chinese fans went home before Russian and Serbia came out, but there was a gaggle of drunk Russians to make up for that. They were very engaged and supportive. I couldn't understand their chants and songs, but I think they were singing some kind of patriotic Russian songs.


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