• Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

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Unusual Rituals Propelling Team GB to Gold in this Year’s Olympics

888pokerThe word is Wimbledon champ Serena Williams keeps winning due to a whiffy pair of unwashed socks. Yes, she’s admitted that when she’s on a winning streak, she’ll keep wearing the same pair, without ever washing them. So could wearing a pair of lucky pants, stepping on a soggy towel or shaving one’s head result in a clutch of gold medals for our very own Team GB athletes in Rio?

Sports stars are probably among the most superstitious people in the world, and many of them have their own little lucky ritual that they’ll keep on repeating whenever they have a big game, match or tournament coming up, in the hope it helps propel them to success.  Online poker site, 888poker, has compiled a fascinating infographic detailing the weirdest and most wonderful rituals of 15 of the biggest professional sports players in the world, including some of the athletes representing Team GB.


And it makes for some very colourful reading! For example, Olympic cyclist Laura Trott now has to step on a wet towel before she heads onto the track, after winning the Junior World Championships with one wet sock. And long distance running champ Mo Farah absolutely has to shave his head before a race. ‘Every athlete has a pre-race routine to get focused,’ he explains. ‘Mine is to shave my head. I like feeling the smoothness of the scalp and splashing cold water on it once I’m done.’ Maybe it also adds to his aero-dynamics! ‘

For many sportspeople, what they’re wearing is important to them; it either has to be the same thing throughout their match or tournament (like Serena’s socks), or something of the same colour. Welsh martial artist Jade Jones, who’ll be representing the UK in taekwondo, always dons her lucky Union Jack pants when she fights. She won gold at the London Olympics in 2012, so clearly it must have had some effect – as well as being very patriotic, of course! While middle distance runner Hannah England, the only British woman to have run under two minutes for the 800m, swears by wearing pink socks when she’s racing, and often when she’s training too. And track and field athlete Eilidh Doyle, a Scottish record holder at the 400m hurdles, believes so much that her football team, Heart of Midlothian, can bring her luck that she always wears a team wristband. And she makes sure she has spares, just in case.

But however crazy these rituals sound, they are obviously very important to the people who do them.

We hope all of Team GB will be wearing their lucky pants in Rio, Union Jack-design or not…

By admin