Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympic Fever

Having watched the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games this morning I have been taking a trip down memory lane to September 2000 and the wonderful Games in Sydney.

At the ten year anniversary of the Games I shared on this blog some of my Games memories. I'll repost these as since 2010 when I posted them I have dredged up a few more blog followers. The posts on this blog may be few and far between over the next couple of weeks as I get my four yearly dose of Olympic Fever.
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Ten years ago - 13 September 2000

I have just been reminded on a current affairs program that ten years ago was a special time in Sydney. In September 2000 our city hosted the Olympics.  It was a magical time in our beautiful city, there were crowds everywhere but the atmosphere was one of bonhomie.

At that time I was a teacher at MLC School in Burwood and had volunteered months before to chaperone a group of our students who would be performing in the opening and closing ceremonies of the games. Together with the students I gave up  a number of weekends and evenings to attend rehearsals at venues around Sydney including an abandoned airfield at Schofields.

I had in 1999 entered the lottery to buy tickets for the sporting events. After the ballot we found ourselves several thousand dollars poorer but armed with tickets to athletics, hockey, water polo, wrestling, kayaking, table tennis, tennis amd more. The tickets were shared amongst members of the family ; we had what would today be called a staycation. Our youngest daughter had been lucky enough to get, through university, a paid position with SOBO at the Tennis Centre.

Mr Geniaus, Mate and Hornsby Mayor at Pennant Hills Torch Relay Function
On this day 13th September 2000 I have written in my diary "to MLC to collect Opening Ceremony tickets". As a volunteer I was given two tickets to the Dress Rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony.  Following that I attended a local Torch Relay Function "to Torch relay celebration at Pennant Hills.  It's hot and dusty and we can't see a thing from the VIP area!!"



I had also managed to procure a couple of extra Dress Rehearsal tickets so with Mr Geniaus and a couple of our offspring we set off by train "to Opening Ceremony Dress Rehearsal at Stadium Australia."

I recorded my impressions of the Olympics in a series of posts on a listserv to which I belonged. In the coming days, as Australia remembers, I will repost these on my Geniaus blog.
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From a listserv post in 2000:

"Last night I joined 100,000 or so lucky Australians to witness the culmination of the kids' efforts when I attended the Final Dress Rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony. The only bit we missed out on was the lighting of the cauldron otherwise it was as it will be on Friday. It was awesome - the atmosphere in the stadium was electric - the patriotism displayed by the audience was something that, to date, I've only witnessed in the U.S. and our MLC girls and the other thousands of performers did a magnificent job."
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Ten years ago - 16 September 2000

From my listserv post in 2000:


"I just went to the supermarket to buy food for our picnics at the Olympics (I'll be at an event every day) and as the food at Olympic Park is outrageously expensive I'm packing sandwiches, drinks and snacks. While I was in the supermarket I met an American lady (guess why she's in Sydney?) who wanted to buy tinned pumpkin - her Aussie male companions were trying to tell her that one cannot buy this in Oz but it needed this Aussie Mum to convince her that it's not available. What would she use tinned pumpkin for - is it for pumpkin pie? Our varieties of pumpkin are different over here - we serve pumpkin as a vegetable (yummy with roast meat) and I always give visiting Americans pumpkin soup.
 
Did you see Nikki Webster, the little 13 year old star, in the Opening Ceremony?  Guess who used to be her librarian? Me.  Nikki, who is now in Year 7 at a private Performing Arts School - McDonald College which is even closer to Olympic Park than my school MLC, was a student at MLC in Years 4 and 5.  She left MLC as McDonald College was more able to satisfy her special needs.  She was and still is a sweet little girl with a lovely Mum. Nikki has recently performed in professional performances of Les Miserables and The Sound of Music in Sydney.  I saw her in both these shows and was so proud to say that I know Nikki.  I had a tear in my eye when I saw her fly to the sky at last Wednesday's final dress rehearsal - it was such a shock.  I've been to umpteen rehearsals for "Southern Skies" (the segment in whch she sang) but as the kids rehearsed to a tape I didn't know Nikki was the star until Wednesday.
Bright and early for the hockey

Must go to watch the swimming on the TV - husband and kids have gone to the hockey - I'm pleased that I can stay home and watch the Thorpedo swim."

1 comment:

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