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Culture of the Cup

By Michayla Rinaldi

Almost 7,000 miles away from New Hyde Park Memorial, the World Cup took the world by storm. This year’s chosen venue, Qatar, was home to the world’s biggest and most-watched sporting event. People worldwide anxiously tuned in to see what teams advanced, hoping it was their favorite.

Whether they were rooting for the country they were born in or just had a favorite team they wanted to win, many students at NHP were eager to support a team that resonates with them. This televised global event encouraged students to embrace their heritage by allowing them to cheer for teams from their own backgrounds. There were several ways that students at NHP watched these games, including watching some matches live and in-person at the Qatar stadiums.

Junior Nicholas Prada had the chance to see World Cup games live in Qatar.

“The atmosphere for most of the games was definitely there,” Prada said. “I was supporting Ecuador because it’s where my mom is from. I was also rooting for the United States because I felt obligated to support my country.”

Even though a small minority of students were in Qatar watching these games live, others were still able to celebrate. Students found time to tune in, whether it be from the comfort of their own home, local restaurants or even from mobile devices in their free time during the school day. No matter what game it was or how it was being watched, many students were still able to enjoy these high-intensity matches.

“During the World Cup, I support England because I’m half British, and it just makes sense to me. I like watching a team that could really compete. My family and I were wearing our England jerseys to represent our favorite team on the day they played against the USA. I was really hoping England would pull through; I wanted them to win so badly,” junior Rosina Zehnter said.

Sources by Areej Zaidi

Abdul El Mohtadi and Kiriakos Koutsouras show off their support for Morocco after a recent win; Alexandra Stec poses with pride in her Polish jersey while watching Poland compete; Students surround an iPad to watch an intense penalty shootout.

While this event allows students to embrace their heritage and celebrate their own teams, many were left upset by teams who did not even make it to the group stages. Italy, the UEFA 2020 Euros winner, was knocked out of this competition very early. Some students were left bewildered by the team’s lacking performance and are now unsure of who to root for.

“I don’t have a huge opinion on who I want to win since Italy didn’t qualify. If I had to choose, it would be great for Morocco or Croatia to win, seeing as they haven’t won too many,” junior Joe Reo said.

During the World Cup, most soccer fans crowded together to view the professional playing of global stars. Whether students were rooting for a team of their own background, a team with their favorite player, a fan favorite to win the entire tournament or the underdog team, it is clear that watching this sport brings people together. Regardless of whether their team qualified, students at NHP showed their pride and support.


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