This morning we had the Australian team welcoming function. Lots of acrobats, singing, and dancing. There was also speeches, the playing of our national athem and the exchange of gifts from our NPC and the village mayor.
Later in the day was also my first opportunity to catch up with my hubby Lee and brother in law Jon at the Westfield! Such a great moment after being away from home since August 14th.
The day we have been waiting for! The Opening Ceremony!!! We didn't have a training session today so most of the day was about preparing for the Opening. We had a team induction where we were given our Australian Paralympic pins designed by a few fellow paralympians. So beautiful!
When it was finally time to get ready, the hair got straightened and braided, the face was put on and the uniform was last to go on. The APC media crew even came to our floor for a few 'getting ready' shots and interviews.
You could feel the excitement in the air as the Australian team assembled outside headquarters (aptly named the 'Red Centre') before taking the decent stroll to the Stadium. We are so lucky it didn't start to rain like it was earlier in the day!
In Beijing the Gliders didn't do the Opening Ceremony because we had an early game the next day. But this time we have a 6.30pm game the next day so we were allowed to do the lap of honour and then go again. It's hard to put into words the feelings felt as we went through backstage and then finally onto the track when 'Australia!' was being announced in the stadium. The roar we heard meant that sooo many of our friends and family (and fans in general) where out there in the stadium. I didn't wear my glasses so I was waving to any group of people wearing yellow shirts or were waving Aussie flags :-)
The Australian team were allowed to get their cameras out after we had walked/rolled 100m after entering. I was distracted by waving to the crowd so wasn't sure how far we had pushed so who better to ask than the track athletes "have we gone past the 100m mark??". Turns out we past that mark a while ago :-)
The atmosphere was amazing. The cheers from the crowd. The dancing volunteers. The performers. The other athetes. A M A Z I N G! It was over way too soon! After doing our lap we assembled to leave the stadium again and pushed back to the athletes village for a cuppa tea before heading to our appartments to watch the rest of the ceremony. We could hear the roar when the GB team were announced where we were in the village! Sleep was needed so I didn't watch it all, but I did have the magical moment of watching the fireworks in the reflection of the windows in the apartment across from mine.
I will leave you to watch a great video by the APC media team: