All competitors in the 2024 Olympics in Paris will need to perform some kind of wacky gesture to the camera as they are introduced to spectators just before they start their event, Olympic officials confirmed today.
The news comes after some of those competing at Tokyo 2020 opted for a generic smile to the camera and a slightly self-conscious wave as their name was announced to a global audience of billions.
'They've had five years to prepare their 'to-camera shot", said an Olympic spokesperson. 'So, it was disappointing to see some athletes insisting on a slightly scary fixed look of intense concentration, staring towards an imaginary point in the distance’.
'The Olympics has a long tradition of confident gestures to camera,’ noted the spokesperson wistfully. ‘We need to see more of those 'index finger pointing forward like a gun whilst nodding your head and winking' set pieces that were universal in the mens' 100m back in Los Angeles 1984, but which have sadly faded away. Or some of those ironic 'Rodin's thinker' type poses that some of the boxers do as they come in the ring’.
'Every single participant in the female gymnastics managed to make that heart gesture with their thumb and index fingers every time they were on camera, so I don't see why the track cyclists can't do it as they're lined up on a 45% banking', continued the spokesperson. 'The table tennis guys could do a little routine with their bat and ball, the sailors some kind of hornpipe pastiche. The dressage... we'll come back to you on that, but there must be something, maybe a little pretend gallop followed by someone getting quite angry and then throwing a punch’.
In separate news, it has been announced that 'medal biting' in post-podium photographs will also return to being a compulsory routine for winners in Paris 2024, after becoming just an optional gesture at Tokyo 2020 due to COVID.