Mythical serpent inspires Mexicans
Beatriz Tancock is the go-to girl when it comes to anything Mexican in this town. As the head of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce, she is in her element at this year's tournament. Tancock, who has lived here for 29 years, has been to 25 Hong Kong Sevens.
She is quick to point out that while the nickname of the Mexican team, Los Serpientes, rolls off the tongue with Spanish ease, the word has a distinctive meaning.
'In our culture the serpent is a symbol of our ancient Mayan history,' says Tancock (above). 'And our country has the most types of snake species in the world.'
Clearly proud of the 2011 newcomers - the 49th different team in the tournament's history - Beatriz said 'the Mexican team's Serpientes logo is a beautifully designed image that conveys strength, courage and honour as taken from our ancient history'.
The serpent has been identified with the ancient pre-Hispanic civilisations, representing divinity, power and knowledge, Quetzalcoatl- Kukulcan being his major representation.
Tancock said Quetzalcoatl was a feathered-serpent god. So perhaps all of the people wearing feather boas in the stadium over the past three days have been paying homage to a greater force than they realised.