Saturday, June 19, 2010

World Cup Commentary - Hot African Weather

This stereotype of Africa being sweltering hot all year round is a hard one for Africa to shake. At the beginning of the World Cup 2010 - South Africa, many of the ESPN commentators were focused on the heat in Africa even as goosebumps grew on their skin.  They became overly concerned with how the heat was going to affect the non-African teams that were not used to the hot African weather. In fact many of the teams came early so that they could practice playing in the African heat. Africa is hot yes, but the problem is that this is winter in South Africa, which means temperatures in South Africa are cold. The irony is that these comments were being made as fans were bundled up in warm clothes, and teams were wearing long sleeved jackets. In fact, the weather was so cold that it snowed in the Western Cape region during the World Cup. They are also predicting snow in Cape Town. I took the liberty of researching ski resorts in Africa, and found that several countries including South Africa and Algeria, have ski resorts (move over Jamaican Bobsledders!) which is a sporting activity that is not usually associated with Africa. There are snow peaked mountains in Kenya, Tanzania and Algeria as well.

Albeit not having snow, Malawi's Mt Mulanje mountains has seen temperature so cold, that one can develop hypothermia. In the non-mountain areas, cities like Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Blantyre also experience cold weather in Malawi. Yes, Africa has the benefit of warm weather almost year round but many countries do have a legitimate winter although some may argue that there is no winter in Africa.

It looks like the sports commentators got a dose of African reality after spending a few days there since I no longer hear comments about how teams are getting acclimated with the heat. In today's Japan vs Holland (Netherlands) game, I simply heard the comment that its is a  "Sunny winter day in Durban, South Africa"

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