Shooting: Mustache! Brazilian fans adopt man with no country

Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:02pm EDT
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By Mary Milliken

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - From the beginning of the men's skeet semi-final on Saturday, there was something about Abdullah Al-Rashidi that grabbed the Brazilian fans.

Maybe it was his age, the oldest of the competitors at 52. Maybe it was the fact that the Kuwaiti was competing under the Olympic flag, his country having been banned from competition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

For Brazilian spectator Daniel Grillo, it was simply his "bigode," Portuguese for mustache.

"He looks so exotic with that mustache," said Grillo, a 24-year-old student.

With scores of other Brazilians in the stands, he shouted "Bigode" in a chant that would not be out of place at the Maracana, the soccer cathedral down the road.

And with a crowd-winning smile, Rashidi went on to win the bronze in skeet, his first medal in six Olympic Games.

"I feel like I am from Brazil and not Kuwait," said a grateful Rashidi, who is also a falconer. "Thank you Brazil!"

He thought it was a funny nickname, especially since his mustache used to be much bigger and is now just a finger-wide graying strip above his mouth.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Shooting - Final - Men's Skeet Finals - Olympic Shooting Centre - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 13/08/2016. Abdullah Alrashidi (KUW) of Independent Olympic Athlete competes.  REUTERS/Edgard Garrido