June 26, 2014 – There was friendly competition on board the International Space Station today as the astronauts cheered on their home countries in World Cup 2014. Unfortunately, after today’s 1-0 loss, U.S. astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson may not feel as happy as their German crewmate Alexander Gerst.
Prior to the game, Wiseman felt confident that the U.S. would win. “I believe we will win. It’s two against one up here, so I think the U.S. chances are pretty good,” Wiseman said during an in-flight interview with ESPN on June 24.
It may be just a friendly competition between the crew members, who have trained together for years, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t stakes involved.
“If the U.S. wins, these guys are going to draw a little U.S. flag on my head, but I think if Germany wins, these guys should have to shave their heads. Either way I’m looking forward to the game. It’s going to be fun,” Gerst said.
It remains to be seen if Swanson and Wiseman actually shave their heads, but either way, Gerst must be enjoying a bit of national pride today.
Gerst was optimistic that the two teams would meet again. “I hope we kick their butt a little bit, but I’m going to hope it’s going to be at the final game, not at this game on Thursday,” Gerst said in the earlier interview.
The two teams appear to be on track to make this happen because despite their loss, the U.S. team also advanced today.
Wiseman and Gerst arrived at the space station May 28 as part of the Expedition 40/41 crew and are scheduled to spend the next several months living and working in space until they return to Earth in November. Swanson arrived as part of the Expedition 39/40 crew on March 25 and is expected to return home in September.