Scandinavian beach volleyball players march to the semifinals and soak up the enthusiasm of the Argentinian fans
Love was in the air as Sweden’s men's beach volleyball pair David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig won their quarterfinal against Germany on Monday (15 October).
Enthralled by Ahman’s monster blocks and Hellvig’s dazzling spikes, many of the watching local fans heartily threw their support behind the Swedish pair throughout their match.
The long-held belief that Scandinavians typically display ice-cool detachment was emphatically refuted by Ahman after the Swedes’ 2-0 victory over Lukas Pfretzschner and Filip John, as the 16-year-old quickly joined the court’s announcer in a Latin-pop dance on the court.
“I felt like dancing a bit, I was really happy and the fans gave me such a boost,” Ahman said. “I haven’t danced this much previously but I hope to dance even more if we win in the semis and final. And if they like it.”
Ahman wanted to give something back to the people he has really bonded with during his stay in Buenos Aires. “I am loving this whole experience so much, it's great here,” he said. “These Argentinian fans are so good at cheering us. The spectators’ reaction here is way bigger than in Sweden, it almost feels like (being) in a football stadium.”
Ahman’s teammate, 17-year-old Jonatan Hellvig, was no less galvanised by the warmth and friendliness on display inside the venue. “The arena here is so big, the crowd is amazing,” Hellvig said. “We’ve never played in front of this many people before. It’s unbelievable. They give us so much motivation and energy to keep playing well."
“Everyone wants to take photos with us here in Buenos Aires or at the Youth Olympic Village, everyone says ‘hi’ when we walk past them, all the people here are so kind with us". In Sweden most of the people are pretty shy and they don’t say so much. Here it’s different.”
We’ve never played in front of this many people before. It’s unbelievable. They give us so much motivation and energy to keep playing wellJonatan Hellvig
The pair letting their hair down on court is not an issue for Ahman-Hellvig’s coach. “If they have fun, they are more relaxed and they do better things on the court,” Rasmus Jonsson (SWE) said. “It is much better when they are smiling. If they lose a point, it’s OK. They should forget about it and concentrate on the next rally.
“But when they do good things I want them to celebrate, then beach volleyball is more fun. They can even dance after the win, why not?”
Buenos Aires 2018 beach volleyball action continues with the women’s and men’s semifinals on Tuesday (16 October).