What Is The Mexican Wave?

You see them at every big sporting event, but what is the Mexican Wave? And where did it start?

The Mexican Wave is legendary all over the world and can be seen at all types of sporting events. However, it was The World Cup which made the Mexican Wave a global phenomenon.

The Mexican Wave is easy to do – when the wave hits you, you jump up, throwing your hands in the air. It then moves onto the person sitting next to you. The effect, especially in a huge crowd is pretty special. In the UK we call it ‘The Mexican Wave’, in the USA they call it ‘The Wave’ but in Mexico, they call it ‘La Ola’ (The Wave), and there is speculation over its origin.

Who Created The Mexican Wave?

Given that we call it the Mexican Wave, one would assume that it originated in Mexico. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that it actually started in the US. The man who claims responsibility for its creation is professional cheerleader ‘Krazy’ George Henderson.

He claims that he started the first Wave at a major league baseball game between the Oakland A’s and the New York Yankees on October 15th 1981. Apparently, when Krazy’s wave broke down, he encouraged a chorus of boos. Meaning that by his fourth attempt the wave went the whole way round stadium.

There is however another who also claims ‘The Wave’ was his idea. Robb Weller stated he got a wave going at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium in Seattle on the 31st October 1981, two weeks after Krazy’s wave. Even though Weller’s recorded ‘debut’ of the Wave was two weeks following Krazy’s, he states that he was doing it in smaller venues long before 1981. But they’re not the only ones, football supporters in Mexico claim they were performing the wave in the 1960s. While Canadians state the wave was doing the rounds in Canada back in the 70s.

For a wave to work, at least twenty-five people are needed to start the wave motion. It never happens spontaneously, it needs a group to get it started. Interestingly, the waves, in the northern hemisphere go clockwise and counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere. They are also more likely to occur when the crowd is bored. Basically, it’s not going to happen in the last minutes of the World Cup final!

Mexican Wave At The Euro’s

As we said that it needs to be a huge sporting event to have enough people for a Mexican Wave. There were quite a few during the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019 but the next big tournament may be the Euro’s in 2021. Initially, they were meant for this summer but they were postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Paddy Power has odds available on the 2021 Euro’s already. England is leading the way as the favourites at 9/2 and France just behind them at 5/1. If you don’t fancy either of the two favourites, then they have odds on all the other nations too. Betting on a Mexican Wave, however, would be a dead cert!




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