Now that the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games have come to a close, it's time for the world to sit back and reflect on the successes, the failures, the joy and the heartbreak. Records were broken, champions were upset, and through it all, loyal fans from across the world were there cheering for their countries.
The Olympic Games brings together a unique combination of cultural diversity, national pride and competitive spirit that makes it the amazing spectacle the world looks forward to every four years.
Though the athletes and teams were the stars of the show, let's not forget those there to lend their patriotic support; even if their passion sometimes manifested itself in the funny, bizarre, or...creepy. This is what makes the Olympics the unique, historic occasion that it is: It's a rare opportunity for mankind to look past it's borders, come together and wear funny hats.
These are the 25 Funniest Fans at the Olympics.
You have to admire the dedication and patriotism of any American women's soccer fan who invested the time and huge expense to watch their team win the gold in London.
However, this guy is a semi-creepy reminder of the fine line between superfan and creeper. I highly doubt Hope Solo will ever grant this guy's wish, but the girl has to appreciate the fact he managed to get two fanboy obsessions on one sign.
The only sight more jarring than a grown man in a caped morphsuit is a grown man in a caped morphsuit that turns him into some kind of featureless, shiny advertisement for the United States. I'm not sure what look he was going for, but this dude hilariously captured Captain America meets Cocoon Aliens.
It's weird, but I appreciate it; especially the fact he appears to be belting out the National Anthem under all that spandex.
Don't be fooled by the gold medal around this gentleman's neck, he's not an Olympic athlete. I know he looks the part, but trust me on this one.
Hosting the Olympics in your country is an honor; an honor that comes with much good...and some bad. If this psyched up citizen of the UK had decided his outfit was finished after the form-fitting Union Jack shirt, Union Jack dyed wig (or is that his actual hair?) and Union Jack face paint, he still would have fallen into the "spectacle" category.
However, he went that extra mile to butcher his country's flag into a ragged cape and flash a smile that would make any dentist cringe. The novelty glasses are kind of awesome though, in my opinion.
Not to be done by the American who was fully encased in Stars and Stripes spandex, these two UK fans called his one morphsuit and raised him another. I wonder what would happen if they all ran into each other in an alley somewhere in London? Would they fight, and if so, would they remove their morphsuits first or just engage in some strangely quiet and slippery battle? So many unanswered questions!
Japan's Olympic team had a strong showing in London, winning 38 medals and ranking 11th among all countries. This dedicated Japanese citizen deserves a medal for most confusingly hilarious demonstration of support at the 2012 games.
So, I understand the red circle on the white hat which resembles Japan's flag, but why the bowling pin shape; why the tether ball-like thing dangling from the top? It kind of has the silhouette of "Wenlock," the bizarre mascot for the games, but that's where the similarity ends. I guess some mysteries are best left unsolved.
It's the 2012 Summer Olympics. You're in London. 79 countries are represented. Hundreds of thousands of fans from all of the world have come together to cheer on the nations and athletes of the Summer Games.
There's only one logical course of action.
LET'S ALL WEAR TIGHT LITTLE PETER PAN COSTUMES WITH BARE MIDRIFFS!!!!!
I couldn't imagine how it would feel to a gold medal winning Olympian; it's a moment you've trained for most of your life and undoubtedly dreamed about. So when U.S. men's rowing team member Henrik Rummel made headlines when a photo appeared to capture his...er...excitement at the medal ceremony, people took notice.
Hey, let's cut the man some slack. It's just his biggest fan cheering him on during one of the most important events in his young life.
As if a disembodied animal head isn't scary enough, The Godfather forever changed how mankind views the image of a horse's head out of context. Who knows what motivated this fan to show up in a creepy rubber mask of a horse's head, but the fact he did is pretty funny.
I know that it's debatable how much this dude meets the definition of a fan, but beyond the fact that streaking is by its very nature funny, he's neither an athlete nor an event participant. So, on some level he's a fan and not just a naked guy disrupting a long held tradition.
What's the "cool" answer to flag-waving and gratuitously wearing your country's colors with pride? This girl. Like that woman who slaps on a pair of bunny ears and shows up to a Halloween costume party in a cocktail dress, she technically meets the criteria but not the spirit of the occasion. In an effort to not look silly, she ended up looking very silly.
The London Olympics is one of the few events where minimalism stood out, and the confused/sad look on this girl's face seems to capture her sense of estrangement from the crowd.
If you're not familiar with the Hogettes, they're a group of uber-dedicated male Redskins fans who have attended every game dressed in drag and pig snouts since 1983. Well, these fellas at the 2012 Summer Games didn't get the memo about the pig snouts (for the best), but they had no problem showing their team spirit by showing up in drag.
While I probably wouldn't try to kiss Usain Bolt after watching him win the gold, I can't say I wouldn't get caught up in the moment. This girl is simply channeling all the joy of his home country for Jamaica as he capped off another record-setting Olympic performance.
Under most circumstances, her "attack" would be borderline freaky, but even Bolt only seems to be conveying more of a sense of bewilderment rather than fear.
Hey, penguins are comedy/cuteness gold, so why be conventional and sport your country's color or symbols traditionally associated with it's history and character? Penguin in bow-tie costumes it is!
Sure it doesn't make any sense, but they could do a lot worse than dress up like fancy penguins.
Despite the mustaches and the names, Nintendo's Mario Brothers are loose stereotypes inoculated from any real sense of offense. They're not really conveying any concrete or pervasive presumptions about Italy or it's heritage. I mean, how are overalls or the plumbing trade really connected?
So when you see these two young ladies cheering on Italy's fencing team as Mario and Luigi, it's kind of confounding. Are they telling us that these video game characters actually do embody some of Italy's cultural stereotypes? If this is the case, are they reclaiming them as their own?
I'm guessing the truth is much less philosophical.
If I had attended the London Olympic Games and needed to find an awesome party, I would have just followed these guys. You know they have a direct pipeline to where the fun is.
Cheering for Kazakhstan's Greco-Roman Wrestling team, these fellas knew what they needed to do: put on togas, grab some beers and wave a miniature version of their country's flag.
Okay women of the world, it's the 21st Century, so you know how this works: to the first dude that calls "dibs" goes the spoils. It's just easier this way; no awkward first date, no long-term relationship...just an irrefutable claim on your person. Cupids arrow just got democratic.
Like a silent auction, this scruffy fan of U.S. Women's Soccer star Alex Morgan beat out the rest of her suitors and called "dibs" using the underrated posterboard method.
No actor is greater source of memorable cinematic sound bites than Samuel L. Jackson, so it’s no surprise that he’s used Twitter to volley some 140 character beaut’s in support of the U.S. Olympic Team, including these little nuggets which are really only the tip of the iceberg:
It's no secret that women's beach volleyball draws certain fans that consider it to be more than a competitive sport. There's no getting around the fact that the sport is played by toned, athletic (often hot) ladies who grunt, dive and jump around in tiny bikinis.
These two dudes cheering on the Brazilian team, however, are innovators who have decided that the bikini is not just for the players, but is also appropriate fan apparel.
On autumn Sundays, the stands of Heinz Field are guaranteed to be a field of black and gold. Pick any town and sport with loyal fans and a similar scene will play out; fans tend to...you know...wear apparel relevant to their beloved team.
During the London Olympics, there were plenty of folks decked out in their country's colors, but there were also plenty of examples of fans donning inexplicable garb. This photo being a prime example.
Cowboys, dinosaurs...hey, they scream United Kingdom.
I didn't realize how popular the morphsuit was among fans at the 2012 Summer Games until I started putting together this slideshow. Who knew that the face-covering spandex morphsuit would become the new foam finger?
This guy is probably one of the most menacing examples. As if the sight of faceless man wasn't bad enough, this red beast didn't even give us comfort of novelty glasses or other accessories to remind us he's still human.
Hey, it may be a little predictable to stick your kid in a Captain America costume if you're an American fortunate enough to have attended the Olympics, but it is respectable. It's certainly a better option than those scary total body morphsuits that were epidemic at the games.
This kid totally pulls it off, too. And if there wasn't a Union Jack being waved behind him, I may have thought he was the youngest person at a Megadeath show. Seriously, check out his hands. So...metal.
Spain has no shortage of passion when it comes to their nation's teams. Expatriates living here in Washington, DC go crazy for their World Cup team. So it's no shocker that they turned out in force for their country during London's Olympic games.
I don't know what emotion these handball fans are trying to get across here, but from someone on the outside looking in, a cardboard cut-out of a face flanked by a chicken and a frog makes me uneasy. Real uneasy.
Orange is the color of the Netherlands, so it's logical that the Dutch wear the color in support of their Olympic team. But, I think these guys may have taken it too far.
Seriously, as if the creamsicle suits weren't enough, the strange fuzzy cowboy hats create an image that just seems unnatural.
But, I bet they would blend seamlessly into the crowd at a University of Tennessee footballs. That is, until they started talking to the locals.
Any time you bring large groups of people together at an outdoor event during summer, there's always a few individuals who get a little too comfortable. The Olympic Games are not immune to this phenomenon, despite the decorum.
This guy managed to check all the boxes:
1. No shirt
2. Tiny bathing suit with country flag design
3. Horrified wife
She might be checking out his text, but I'm thinking she's staring at that little bathing suit...surrounded by middle-aged skin...and wondering where it all went wrong.
I don't know where to begin with this fan. I look at what he's put together here and I wonder, "What thought process led to this concept?" I mean, the reality is that if he didn't have the gold stretchy thing on his face, his look would be pretty orthodox. But the mask, with the holes cut out of it...
I imagine that instead of talking he emitted little high pitched whistles and electronic sounds; staying in "character" until the end. *shudder*