Soldiers will be replaced by women players. Bearskins will fade to give way to bikinis and the sun adding a wam tinge to the Horse Guards Parade here for the beach volleyball event of the London Olympics may get temperatures soaring. The participants though insist it is all about playing well and securing medals for them regardless of what the real reason for the sport's popularity may be.
Introduced as a sport in the Olympics in 1996, beach volleyball has been popular among sports enthusiasts and is expected to draw large crowds here over the next few weeks. While the sparse sunlight may also be seen as a reason to come out in large numbers, it is now in common knowledge that players in bikinis rather than Vitamin D will be the main attraction. Even British Prime Minister David Cameron was quoted as saying in The Guardian that 'he is interested in the sport.' "I'm not going to cut down the trees at No10 so I can get a better view, though there is an enormous temptation," he was reported to have said.
For the players though, it is about sweat, toil and a whole lot of hard-work. The same British daily as above has quoted Britain's Zara Dampney as saying that while beach volleyball has a glamorous image, players here work as hard as in any other discipline. "We are professional athletes who work just as hard as everybody else. Beach volleyball has got a glamorous image, but that's not something really to fight about," said the 26-year-old player adding that if it gets cold, players are sure to exchange their bikinis for leggings.
While athletes continue to believe that while many come to watch their sport for the 'dress-code', most leave with a different view of beach volleyball - a sport that is thrilling for all the sporty reasons!