In spite of the lack of spectators, viewers at home have heard a peculiar horn sound throughout swimming events because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The Air Horn
People have been tweeting about the sounds of the Olympics since they began. There was a lot of speculation as to what they meant on Reddit. Coaches are pacing athletes? Does this mean that swimmers need to hurry up and finish the race? Is this small group of spectators hoping to give the athletes a taste of an Olympic Games without a global pandemic?
What’s going on with the horns, anyway? Belle McLemore, a spokesman for USA Swimming, startled us when we asked her this question. As a rule, “it’s not for pacing,” she wrote. “The level of precision required to pull it off would be extremely difficult.”
In the absence of crowd noise, a team or coach can use it to convey their support for their athlete. You can usually tell where the crowd is going by the amount of yelling and applause.
On July 24, the opening day of swimming competitions at the Toyko Olympics, the United States claimed five gold medals. Several honking noises interrupted Reddit users’ viewing experience, and several expressed their displeasure.
Having other people hear and talk about it is a positive thing, one user commented. I’ve encountered audio issues in the past because of my television’s poor quality. My initial reaction was one of scepticism. I’ve never heard anything so irritating, and it kept repeating. Every nationality. It’s only once in a while.”