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Answered 2012-06-26 19:24:13

There are many varying stories on the origin of the wave - when sports fans stand and raise their arms, section by section, creating a wave like crest throughout an arena.

Competing claims for inventing the wave come from hockey, baseball, American football, and soccer, and from Canada, the US, and Mexico. The evidence does seem to indicate that the wave traveled primarily north to south, from its introduction at a 1980 hockey game in Edmonton, a cameo appearance at a baseball game in Oakland, a few years at Seattle football games, an Olympic appearance at Stanford University, and finally its big breakthrough at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, from which it emerged with global fame as the Mexican Wave.

According to professional cheerleader Krazy George Henderson, the first wave was created by accident at an Edmonton Oilers hockey game. Different sections of the arena standing and cheering at different times was already somewhat common. Krazy George was pointing to different sections of the arena, which generally resulted in that section's fans jumping to their feet and shouting. A delayed reaction by one section one night was then followed by the next section jumping a few seconds later, initiating an impromptu wave. George refined the routine through season, and then took it to other games and stadiums, including a nationally televised Major League Baseball playoff game in Oakland between the A's and the New York Yankees on October 15, 1981.

Two weeks later Seattle fans began using the wave, first at a University of Washington football game, and then at the Seahawks' NFL games. The wave was introduced to soccer fans at a 1984 Olympic soccer match between Brazil and Italy at Stanford Stadium, before achieving global fame at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

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