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The crowd at Deodoro Stadium near Rio won’t all be rugby fans for the six days of sevens. Many will be experiencing the Olympics as a whole, perhaps without much thought to the details of rugby beforehand.
One way to get into the sevens spirit – no game knowledge required – is by donning some dress-up. The official fan guide advises: “Did You Know? Fans usually watch matches wearing costumes, in a Carnival atmosphere that perfectly matches the Rio 2016 spirit.” That is in the same document that tells fans to take public transportation and arrive early. It is practically a command for fancy dress!
Here is hoping that those lucky enough to be in Deodoro Stadium get into the spirit—be it sevens spirit or Carnival spirit or any other kind of dressing-up-spirit—and become part of the spectacle through costume.
The classic costumes are hard to beat, but here is a list of some timely alternatives.
Top 10 Fancy Dress Ideas for the Olympics
10) It’s Carnival, Baby! Perhaps dressing in a traditional Carnival costume—or, let’s face it, a really cheap version of a Carnival costume—will be different in Rio than in London, but it’d still be good fun. Maybe just the feathers since the whole thing might not be the right look for all of us.
9) The United Kingdom. Each person in the group wears a part of Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland). When the team is playing, they can all huddle together; when the team isn’t playing, split apart. Bonus points for a friend to dress as France to terrify, or at least annoy, England.
8) In Fiji and beyond, Jarryd Hayne and his attempt to make the Olympic team has been the big news. A group of friends dress as different stages of Hayne: a Fiji sevens jersey, a Parramatta jersey, a New South Wales jersey, a 49ers jersey, an Australian and/or Fiji league jersey, and maybe something aspirational for wherever you want him to turn up next. San Diego Breakers jersey? Why not? The bigger the group, the more jerseys you can use. This way, Hayne is still involved in the games.
7) The Ghost of Samoa AND the Ghostbusters (either the old version or the new). Preferably, the Ghost of Samoa would hang around any Spanish fans, just lurking.
6) None of the Above through the characters of Monty Brewster and Spike Nolan. Remember the movie Brewster’s Millions? This, for whatever reason, was one of the movies my family had on VHS when I was a kid, so I’ve seen it a bunch. The 1985 Richard Pryor movie with John Candy includes the main character, Monty Brewster, campaigning in an election for New York City mayor. He isn’t campaigning for himself, though. He is campaigning for “None of the Above.” Not everyone cares about the US presidential election, but many who care lean toward “None of the Above.” Dressing up as Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wouldn’t be much fun, but dressing up as characters from a silly 80’s movie? That can be fun.
5) Cristiano Ronaldo and Mirrors. A timely sporting reference and a chance to tease a soccer star? Sign me up! One person in a Ronaldo jersey and mask, and as many others as possible with small mirrors attached to them or just hand mirrors at the ready. Oooh, maybe even a tool belt full of different mirrors.
4) Zootopia Crew. The 2016 movie offers new relevance for an old favorite: the bunny. Plus, there is a fox, sloth, chubby cheetah, lion, lamb, and angry water buffalo.
3) Pele. Pop on a jersey and away you go.
2) Other Olympians. Someone in a little kayak. An archer and a target, for a couple. A judo team for those interested in wearing something super comfortable. Rhythmic gymnasts for those interested in ribbons and flair.
1) Carmen Miranda. For this famous Brazilian, the hat is the key. Beyond the hat, there are lots of different ways to have fun with the costume.