March 26, 2010

The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Opening Ceremony

Firstly I must apologise for the lack of posts. These past 2 weeks have been incredibly busy and I have not stopped! Let me take you back to the official beginning of the games.

The morning of the Opening Ceremony was an exciting one, everyone was buzzing around in anticipation of what was to come that evening. I headed off to the gym bright and early to get in a session, we would be leaving for Vancouver (a 2.5 hour drive away) just after lunch. My first dilemma was the realisation that my Mum who had my hair curler was actually in Vancouver and I wouldn’t be seeing her until the next day! Coming to the rescue was Starlene who is one of the crucial staff of the National Sports Centre for the Disabled race program I had been with the year before and also the Head Coach for the Mexican team here at the Games. My lifesaver for the day we teamed up so we could both have great hair for the night! The other dilemma was in trying to decide how to wear the RM Williams scarves we had been given to wear around our neck, there was many a discussion between myself, our team physio, and head admin- the 3 ladies who would be attending the ceremony. I think we got it right!

We all met in the lobby just after lunch, scrubbing up very nicely I must say! We looked very Aussie in our RM Williams outfits receiving many a compliment as we hopped on the bus to BC Plaza in Vancouver.

Being one of the first nations out we were also one of the first to leave, hitting Vancouver at peak hour didn’t slow us down with police controlling the traffic lights at every intersection we passed it was green all the way!

Walking around underneath the stadium there was excitement all around you, chatting with the other countries, taking photos with the performers, swapping pins, checking out other teams unfirorms (I do believe we looked the best!) and waiting until we were called up to walk into the arena.


Finally the moment had arrived! As we approached the entrance our team’s excitement could not be contained, photos were snapping everywhere, people were yelling as we caught our first glimpse into the stadium and the noise was incredible. As the presenters yelled ‘Australia’ the roar reached new heights- this was the closest we would ever get to a home games and the Aussies were in the crowd to prove it.

(Entering the arena!)

Led by our flag bearer, Toby Kane we marched across the stage smiling from ear to ear, the adrenaline was amazing and the excitement was boiling over, all our hard work and we were here! The whole crowds attention was on us as we walked across the centre stage flagged by dancing children, one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ moments that will never be forgotten.

(The spectacular crowd!)

The Ceremony itself was just as outstanding, traditional Canadian stories, music, dancing, Mexican waves, fire balls... all things that make a ceremony exciting balanced out by some inspirational stories of individuals who have shaped disabled sport in Canada. The pinnacle as always is the lighting of the Paralympic flame. As the torch relay approached and the flame was lit the crowd erupted and the ceremony was over, a fantastic night to celebrate the Paralympic movement. The hard work was about to begin...

(The Opening Ceremony)

(A Canadian singer entertaining the crowd)

(The lighting of the flame)

(Me and the flame)

No comments:

Post a Comment