By Teresa Varley
Steelers players are used to fans filling stadiums in every city the team plays, showing their support and waving their Terrible Towels.
But even some of them were a bit taken back when they were shown a photo of the United States Olympic Beach Volleyball Team of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh that won a gold medal. In the right corner of the picture you can see a Terrible Towel that a fan is waving at the gold medal ceremony at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
"Come on. Wow," said a surprised Casey Hampton shaking his head in amazement. "We are always representing. When we go to other stadiums we have more fans and our fans are louder. It's crazy to see, but I definitely can believe it."
Wide receiver Hines Ward, who has traveled to Korea the last few years, knows how far reaching the Steelers Nation is but couldn't help but smile when he saw the picture.
"That just speaks about the Steelers nation – we are all the way in China," said Ward. "That is what is great about the organization and fans – no matter where we go in the world there are Steelers fans everywhere. It's just great to be a part of it. That picture speaks for itself – we are everywhere."
Every player and coach that saw the picture knew fans were far-reaching, but still never expected one to bring a Terrible Towel with them to an Olympic event.
"That's pretty cool," said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. "We know we have fans all over the world. That just proves it right there. It's awesome to see the support of the United States and the Steelers. To have them back us like that is awesome."
Former Olympian and wide receiver/kick returner Jeremy Bloom experienced the hometown support when he competed in the Olympics in Italy and wouldn't be surprised to see more black and gold before in the crowd before the games come to a close.
"It's a cool picture. These fans here are everywhere," said Bloom. "I bet there are more Terrible Towels in Beijing because Steelers fans are great sports fans."
The Steelers played one international game this preseason in Toronto, Canada, but Aaron Smith thinks that the black and gold would definitely have an advantage if they headed to China to play.
"It's unbelievable," said Smith. "It shouldn't surprise me because when we go on the road there are times when we have more fans than the home team. I am sure if we played in Beijing we would be the home team there too."