|Beach volleyball crowd chants ‘Zika’ at U.S. duo
Olympic fans have a new chant to get under the skin of Americans.
Several reporters heard chants of “Zika!” aimed at American players Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat before each would hit serves late in their match against Poland’s Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska on Sunday morning at Copacabana Beach.
It’s not clear why the largely Brazilian crowd chose Fendrick and Sweat as the recipients of the chant, as neither player has made a public comment about fears of the Zika virus. But with several American athletes dropping out of the Olympics because of concerns over the virus — Hope Solo of the U.S. women’s soccer team has been a prime target — it’s unsurprising the crowd would lump Fendrick and Sweat in.
“Yeah, we heard the crowd. I heard the USA chants, those are super energizing,” said Fendrick. “As far as the other stuff, that’s not a factor for us. We always play against international teams with international crowds.”
The crowd, mostly neutral at the beginning, was firmly on Poland’s side by the second set. Loud chants of “POLSKA POLSKA” could also be heard echoing throughout the stadium, which sits atop scenic Copacabana Beach.
Fendrick and Sweat would fall to Brzostek and Kolosinska in three sets in the match. Next up for Sweat and Fendrick will be Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Rocha of Brazil on Tuesday.