On Superstition and Miracles

All sports, no matter how skill based they are, have a big degree of luck and there are certain routines or superstitions with which an athlete can feel they can control that bit of that percentage which is luck. This can manifest itself in “rules” such as no shaving your legs on the day of the race in cycling, no shaving your face in hockey, not changing the strings in your racket in tennis, I have even heard of not changing your underwear. I really hope that last one is not true.

 

The new prototype of Escarabajo

Colombian cyclists are known collectively as the Escarabajos (beetles). This is a term coined in 1955 by none other than Literature Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the biography of Ramon Hoyos. His phrase was something along the lines of, “the cyclists in at their hunched back manner looked like beetles attached to the mountains.” This has stayed in the Colombian imagination and has become so prevalent, but most of us don't know where the term comes.