Filed under: Sports, Travels | Tags: Daina Gudzineviciute, Lithuania, Public viewing, Vilnius
Ever since the soccer world cup in 2006 the viewing of sport competitions in public places has been becoming somewhat of a traditional event in every medium-sized and bigger city in Europe.
People who used to hang out in front of their TVs with a couple of friends and beers now conquer central public squares to hang out in front of a huge screen with tons of people they don’t know. Whilst one part of the crowd tries to find the gap between the two back heads in front of them to catch a glimpse on the giant screen -which in a 50 meters distance is suddenly not that giant anymore- the other part of the crowd enjoys the beer they have waited for at least half an hour, and payed for with an amount of money they could have also invested in the stock market. The now stale ale is sipped on for the next 90 minutes because it would take an average 30 minutes to use the public toilets which are mostly yuk, anyways.
However, despite of all the little obstacles these events seem to kick ass and entertain a lot of people because apparently there’s just nothing better than to support your team and your country with thousands of other people who share the same interest and hey, soccer is fun and a thrilling game.
Now, I don’t even know whether Lithuania has a soccer equipe but they certainly have Daina Gudzineviciute, a world champion clay pigeon shooter who won the gold medal in 2000 at the Olympics in Sydney. This might explain the behaviour of the Lithuanian citizens, huddling up in front of a huge screen in the middle of Lithuania’s capital Vilnius last week:
But even more impressive was security, which could have probably de-escalated the police-vs.-left wing group encounter at the next G8 summit and the regular 1st of May demonstration in downtown Berlin together. I had never heard of riots after clay pigeon shooting competitions but they seem to be possible in Lithuania.
With excitement the Lithuanians watched the finals of the womens’ trap shooting competition, where sadly Daina Gudzineviciute only reached the fourth rank. What a black day for the Balts.
Her explanation remained unfortunately untranslated.
In the overall medal table, Lithuania currently ranks 51st.
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