While watching the finals of Euro 2004, I gazed and saw a naked man run from one end of the field and leap into one of the group’s nets. About a minute later, security came in and escorted the man off of the field to a chorus of cheers and boos from the crowd. This isn’t the first time I have seen a streaker run across the field during a sporting event or live event but as far as I know streaking is synonymous with live television and sporting events. Generally it applies to people who run nude through public places and is even more important because a) it’s illegal and b) it’s designed to invoke both shock and laughter in others. You can say that streaking was present in the tales of Adam and Eve, Lady Godiva or in the story ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ but its origin began in the United States when University students began to get bored of typical pranks and started to streak as a new way to have fun.

The trend soon went worldwide and soon gained exposure at sporting events when the opportunity to gain exposure from streaking was too good not to resist. The trend of streaking reached its peak in 1974 and even gained a top 10 single by Ray Stevens entitled ‘The Streak’. Streaking is often considered fun and harmless but it often changes with the times and lately it has been considered a horrible offense which can be fined and possibly see jail time. Sports has also changed its mind over the matter as sporting officials consider streaking inappropriate and feel that it ruins the athlete’s concentration, especially during an event that has high stakes for the athletes in question. Streaking is usually an idea also brought about by excessive drinking or some sort of bet taking place, as the incentive of money or a prize makes people more eager to streak.

Famous Streakers: (Courtesy of http://www.streakerama.com/)

*Robert Opel streaked past David Niven, and a worldwide television audience, at the 1974 Academy Awards. Opel was later shot dead during a robbery at his Los Angeles sex shop.

*At an international rugby game in England in April 1974, having “had a few”, Michael O’Brien, an Australian accountant, stripped off during the half-time interval and streaked in front 53,000 fans, including Princess Alexandra. When caught by the police, an embarrassed constable used his hat to cover O’Brien’s naughty bits, ensuring they were both immortalized in a well-known photo.

*The Doncaster Handicap of 13 April 1974 at Randwick racecourse had a thrilling finish as Allana Kereopa and David Cook streaked across the finishing line ahead of the horses. Watched by 52,000 punters, Allana tried to escape via the member’s enclosure, whereby the gatekeeper said, “You can’t come in here, you haven’t got a badge on!” Her excuse to the magistrate was “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” thereafter known as “The Streaker’s Defense”.

*The first person to streak at an Olympic games was Michael Leduc at Montreal in 1976.

*Erica Roe, described by leering tabloids as “busty”, was possibly the first to receive job offers following a streak at Twickenham in England during a Test match. Having lost her normal job for taking a sickie that day, she was asked to model suits for $500 a day.

*A naked man ran through Hawaii’s parliament in 1974 calling himself “The streaker of the house.”



Perhaps the most well Known streaker is an English man by the name of Mark Roberts, who according to his website has streaked over 380 times since his first streak 10 years ago. He has streaked in almost every major sporting event including such events as The Tour De France, The French Open, Wimbledon, EUFA Cup Finals and most recently the Superbowl.

Most recently streaking has been mostly about money as streakers are being given money to run naked at major events with advertising for casinos or radio stations being painted on their bodies. One such example was at the U.S Open Golf Tournament where a pornstar by the name of Britney Skye took off her clothes on one of the closing holes to advertise an internet casino. “On the 11th hole, just as eventual winner Jim Furyk is about to putt for birdie, Skye, topless, sporting two perfectly-placed pasties and a temporary tattoo touting an online casino, streaks out of the crowd and tries to give Furyk two roses. She’s arrested, but it’s mission (advertising) accomplished.” (espn.com).


Another huge success story for streakers came in 2003 when Nike introduced a set of new commercials featuring a man named Marc Bowden as he runs out on a soccer pitch and is chased by soccer players and cops and is only wearing just a long scarf and Nike Shox sneakers.The streaking success story only seems to get bigger every year as streakers try and beat one another and become the latest media sensation to outrun security guards and have their names forever pasted into the history books.

Keep an eye out for Mark Roberts and don’t be surprised if you see him streaking at another major event near you sometime in the future.The streaking success story only seems to get bigger every year as streakers try and beat one another and become the latest media sensation to outrun security guards and have their names forever pasted into the history books. Keep an eye out for Mark Roberts and don’t be surprised if you see him streaking at another major event near you sometime in the future.

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3 Responses to “The Art of Streaking”
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