Saturday morning, August 11, turned into a celebration in Baja and all over Mexico, as the Mexican national soccer team won the gold medal in the Olympics, defeating Brazil 2-1.
The game began at seven o’clock in the morning local time, and by ten o’clock, when most of the bars open in Baja, revelers had taken to the streets, flying the nation’s flag and yelling gritos such as ¡Viva México! from automobiles, with replies in kind from pedestrians.
Unlike in the U.S., the Olympics were aired live in Mexico. Some bars have license or permission to stay open 24 hours in Tijuana, and all were full and the beer was spilled liberally.
The Olympic medal in soccer was the first that Mexico has earned, made sweeter by the gold and in beating Brazil, considered the world’s hotbed of soccer talent.
Mexico set an Olympic record by scoring in the first 30 seconds of the match. They then doubled their lead after halftime, and Brazil could only manage to get one of the goals back. The results of the squad bodes well for future endeavors in the World Cup, considered a much greater prize among soccer aficionados.