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It is hypnotic , inviting and above all fun. The optical effect, then, in a crowded stage, raises the breath for its rhythmic and sinuous trend that involves those around you. A human tide that wedges itself in the stands, passes through the curves and returns before disappearing. Widespread, nowadays, in international sporting events (from football friendlies to the Olympics, passing through the World Cup), the “Ola” is a choreography that has become part of a by now acquired tradition of the sporting cult. However, one wonders: who invented it
Over the years, many have puzzled in search of a reliable source of the primordial act of genesis. Mythologies, tales, testimonies obviously mix together making everything extremely cloudy. Yet, a few years ago, the British newspaper The Guardian asked its readers to investigate the matter, proposing some dates and welcoming new references.
Some of the answers were hilarious: one reader claimed he was the first to do it, alone, in his living room in 1954, while another swore he saw it done in 1945, by four people in a youth softball Canada. Then there was the historian who said: “It was the Native Americans in the great plains during the hunt who, in line, raised their arms waving them to disorient the bison and take it in a certain direction, in a trap or on a cliff. “. They say they also saw it in a bullfight in Spain in 1930. [/ Vc_column_text] [/ vc_column] [/ vc_row]

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As can be understood, the cases of “sighting” are more numerous than those on UFOs . And the name certainly doesn’t help: “Ola”, in fact, and the Spanish version of “onda”; in English-speaking countries it is called “Mexican wave” because it became very popular, spread all over the globe, thanks to the television coverage of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico won by Maradona’s Argentina .
But the wave has an even more anterior origin. Five years. Ola, in fact, was born as “The Wave” in Oakland, California, in the United States, on October 15, 1981 . During the baseball match betweenOakland A’s and New York Yankees , some 48,000 spectators swayed simultaneously, led by Krazy George Henderson , a professional cheerleader who can, therefore, consider himself the parent of the choreography.
Krazy George, father of the “Ola”
Obviously, like all beautiful things, the Ola was also born by chance : Henderson, in fact, claims that she was born from a delay in synchronization during a hockey game at the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Canada . His original idea was to make the spectators on one side of the arena stand up and applaud, followed by a response from those sitting on the support side.
But that evening an adjacent section, still on the same side, he was delayed by a few seconds in jumping up, so, enchanted by the movement, the others also began to respond late. The 1981 baseball game, played at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, was the perfect opportunity, given the large turnout, to officially experience Ola. There were a few false starts , three or four, but eventually the crowd understood Krazy Henderson’s idea.
Among the various curiosities there is a website,, which organizes campaigns against this choreography because, according to some fans, it distracts the public who loses the adrenaline for the meeting or also because it is often done at the wrong time.
On the occasion ofBeijing Olympics of 2009 , Ola became the object of study: about 300 people were instructed to study in detail the technique to replicate it during the event and thus transform sport into a big party.

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