It is a well known fact that the more you tell someone not to do something, the more determined they are to disobey your ruling and do it anyway. Women’s Beach Volleyball follows a similar line of argument – there were reports that they might be told to cover up, and the outfits now seem much more skimpier. And there is no surprise now that Beach Volleyball is perhaps one of the most popular and talked about sports at London 2012.
But who is responsible for the boost in popularity for Beach Volleyball?
The first group of people is definitely the politicians. London Mayor Boris Johnson, in his usual fine form when it comes to telling the nation his feelings, said that the scantily clad female players were “glistening like otters” in the rain. A comment like this is not going to go unnoticed, especially when we all love Boris for precisely this kind of faux pas.
Prime Minister David Cameron even had a little Beach Volleyball gag when he reportedly said: “I’m not going to cut down the trees at No10 so I can get a better view, though there is temptation.
“George Osborne has got the better view, so he may let me into his flat.”
Our leaders are certainly partly to blame for the reputation of the sport at London 2012.
It then got a bit heated as organisers considered changing the rules over dress code which would have forced female competitors to wear less revealing clothes. But this caused a backlash from female competitors who have stamped their right to wear bikinis because they are the most appropriate form of clothing to play well in the sport.
The sly devil who decided to create a beach in the middle of one of London’s most historic landmarks cannot escape without a slap on the
wrist. A beach at Horse Guards Parade with the London Eye in the backdrop is practically a dream come true. No wonder people still turned up when the rain came crashing down. Drinking sessions as early as 8.30am and the addition of cheerleaders has only added to the sport’s popularity, creating a carnival atmosphere more akin to a T20 Cricket Match or an NBA Basketball game.
The boost in Beach Volleyball’s popularity is not altogether a bad thing. London 2012 sees Team GB field their first ever team and it is great to have the backing of the nation for a sport that is only seen on a weekend at Southend beach. But Beach Volleyball is quickly becoming known as the sport for beaches, bikinis and Boris, but hopefully high quality sporting talent at this Olympic Games, will go part way to changing this perception.
What do you think? Who is responsible? Will it change?