When Greek long jumper Miltiadis Tentoglou was introduced for the Tokyo Olympics, he walked out in sunglasses and stood proud before his country’s flag. What he did next was unexpected: He bent over and touched his fist to the ground. Any One Piece fans watching would immediately recognize the reference.
Tentoglou would go on to win gold, narrowly beating out the favorite, Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria. Congrats to him! Speaking with the Greek press, Tentoglou was asked about the competition. The interviewer did not forget to ask what was up with the pose.
“If you know, you know,” Tentoglou replied. “It’s from One Piece.” The gold medal winner explained that it was Luffy’s Second Gear pose. “It’s a power up that Luffy has,” he added and quickly repeated the pose.
Luffy is one of the iconic Japanese characters roped in to promote the Tokyo Olympics and sell merch. This doesn’t appear to be clever viral marketing, but rather, a fan knowingly paying homage. Doing the pose makes sense for an athlete trying to summon all the power necessary to win.
Here is how the One Piece Wiki explains Second Gear:
This technique involves Luffy speeding up the blood flow in all or selected body parts, in order to provide them with more oxygen and nutrients. This makes him much faster and more powerful.
You can watch the original Greek-language interview below.
And with subs.
Tentoglou is the latest athlete to meld fandom with Olympic gold. As Kotaku previously reported, Russian air pistol athlete and The Witcher superfan Vitalina Batsarashkina also took top spot in her competition with a Witcher medallion hanging around her neck.
What sets these two apart is not that they are fans of anime or games. That’s no big deal at all. Rather, they both have displayed their fandom in very public ways as they achieve Olympic glory.