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In pics | Mexico's lucha libre wrestlers struggle to survive amid COVID-19 pandemic

Lucha libre wrestling, with its theatrical stunts and tradition of “rudos”, villainous and rule-breaking bad guys, and “tecnicos”, the handsome good guys, is clearly struggling to survive

August 26, 2020 / 04:09 PM IST
Few of Mexico’s cultural traditions have been hit as hard by the coronavirus pandemic as “lucha libre” wrestling. The death toll among wrestlers has risen dramatically and wrestling arenas are closed, throwing almost everyone out of work. While wrestling halls are closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they now make their livings selling flowers that they grow on Xochimilco’s artificial islands, known as chinampas, and selling tacos and tortas. The sport, with its theatrical stunts and tradition of “rudos” — villainous, rule-breaking bad guys, and “tecnicos”, the handsome good guys, is clearly struggling to survive. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Few of Mexico’s cultural traditions have been hit as hard by the coronavirus pandemic as “lucha libre” wrestling. The death toll among wrestlers has risen dramatically and wrestling arenas are closed, throwing almost everyone out of work. While wrestling halls are closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they now make their livings selling flowers that they grow on Xochimilco’s artificial islands, known as chinampas, and selling tacos and tortas. The sport, with its theatrical stunts and tradition of “rudos” — villainous, rule-breaking bad guys, and “tecnicos”, the handsome good guys, is clearly struggling to survive. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican lucha libre wrestlers perform an exhibition fight for the media, as they train for what will be live streaming events which they will charge for, at Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Image: AP/Fernando Llano)
Mexican lucha libre wrestlers perform an exhibition fight for the media, as they train for what will be live streaming events which they will charge for, at Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Image: AP/Fernando Llano)
Lucha libre wrestling brothers "Ciclonico", or Cyclonic (left) and Mister Jerry, of the Olivares family, train for the live streaming fights. During the COVID-19 pandemic that has closed wrestling halls, the three Olivares brothers sell their chinampa-grown flowers at Xochimilco's traditional market, then prepare tortas and tacos at their food stall. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Lucha libre wrestling brothers "Ciclonico", or Cyclonic (left), and Mister Jerry, of the Olivares family, train for the live streaming fights. During the COVID-19 pandemic that has closed wrestling halls, the three Olivares brothers sell their chinampa-grown flowers at Xochimilco's traditional market, then prepare tortas and tacos at their food stall. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Masked lucha libre fighter Mister Jerry rides on a boat to train for the live streaming fights. With riverboat tours of the floating gardens just reopening, though public lucha libre matches before live audiences are still largely banned, Mister Jerry and his two wrestler brothers are betting they can be part of the tourism rebirth. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Masked lucha libre fighter Mister Jerry rides on a boat to train for the live streaming fights. With riverboat tours of the floating gardens just reopening, though public lucha libre matches before live audiences are still largely banned, Mister Jerry and his two wrestler brothers are betting they can be part of the tourism rebirth. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican lucha libre wrestlers stand at the edge of a boat where photographers take their picture prior to an exhibition fight for the media at Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Image: AP/Fernando Llano)
Mexican lucha libre wrestlers stand at the edge of a boat where photographers take their picture prior to an exhibition fight for the media at Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Image: AP/Fernando Llano)
Mexican lucha libre wrestler "Ciclonico", or Cyclonic, a member of the Olivares family, wears his mask to remain unidentified as he works the family business at the flower market with his two brothers, also fighters, in Xochimilco on the outskirts of Mexico City. The Olivares brothers are simultaneously defending lucha libre and the vastly older agricultural tradition of the floating gardens, which date back to Aztec times, and which are constantly threatened by pollution and encroaching development. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican lucha libre wrestler "Ciclonico", or Cyclonic, a member of the Olivares family, wears his mask to remain unidentified as he works the family business at the flower market with his two brothers, also fighters, in Xochimilco on the outskirts of Mexico City. The Olivares brothers are simultaneously defending lucha libre and the vastly older agricultural tradition of the floating gardens, which date back to Aztec times, and which are constantly threatened by pollution and encroaching development. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Lucha libre brothers, "Ciclonico", or Cyclonic (left) and Mister Jerry, ride a boat to their training site on Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City. Their boat almost sank under the weight of the wrestling ring when they transported it to their chinampa. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Lucha libre brothers, "Ciclonico", or Cyclonic (left), and Mister Jerry, ride a boat to their training site on Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City. Their boat almost sank under the weight of the wrestling ring when they transported it to their chinampa. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
A lucha libre wrestler eats corn as he takes part in a health campaign promoting the use of masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic at the market in Xochimilco. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
A lucha libre wrestler eats corn as he takes part in a health campaign promoting the use of masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic at the market in Xochimilco. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
A Mexican lucha libre wrestler removes his uniform after an exhibition fight for the media. According to the fighter known as "Fantasma", or Phantom, says 60 wrestlers, out of a universe of perhaps 2,000 or 3,000, have died so far this year, far more than in a normal year, but wasn't sure how many were due to COVID-19. (Image: AP/Fernando Llano)
A Mexican lucha libre wrestler removes his uniform after an exhibition fight for the media. According to the fighter known as "Fantasma", or Phantom, says 60 wrestlers, out of a universe of perhaps 2,000 or 3,000, have died so far this year, far more than in a normal year, but wasn't sure how many were due to COVID-19. (Image: AP/Fernando Llano)
Lucha libre brothers "Ciclonico", or Cyclone (left), and Mister Jerry, eat at their restaurant that also sells fighter masks in Xochimilco on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Lucha libre brothers "Ciclonico", or Cyclone (left), and Mister Jerry, eat at their restaurant that also sells fighter masks in Xochimilco on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Lucha libre wrestlers "El Sol", or The Sun, flies over "Gran Felipe Jr.", or The Great Felipe Jr., during an exhibition fight for the media at Xochimilco's floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Lucha libre wrestlers "El Sol", or The Sun, flies over "Gran Felipe Jr.", or The Great Felipe Jr., during an exhibition fight for the media at Xochimilco's floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican lucha libre fighters pose for a photo during a campaign to promote the use of masks during the COVID 19 pandemic in Xochimilco on the outskirts of Mexico City. Lucha libre wrestlers whose deaths are publicly known to be from COVID-19 are Estrella Blanca Jr., Blackman II, Golden Bull, and Matematico II. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican lucha libre fighters pose for a photo during a campaign to promote the use of masks during the COVID 19 pandemic in Xochimilco on the outskirts of Mexico City. Lucha libre wrestlers whose deaths are publicly known to be from COVID-19 are Estrella Blanca Jr., Blackman II, Golden Bull, and Matematico II. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
A Mexican lucha libre wrestler unlaces his boots after an exhibition fight for the media at Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Image: AP/Fernando Llano)
A Mexican lucha libre wrestler unlaces his boots after an exhibition fight for the media at Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Image: AP/Fernando Llano)
Lucha libre fighter "Mister Jerry", whose two brothers are also fighters, rests after training amid Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Lucha libre fighter "Mister Jerry", whose two brothers are also fighters, rests after training amid Xochimilco's famous floating gardens on the outskirts of Mexico City. (Image: AP/Marco Ugarte)
Associated Press
first published: Aug 26, 2020 04:09 pm

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