Friday, March 17, 2006

Wednesday March 15, 2006 Opening Ceremony Day

We packed up our opening ceremony uniforms and set out by bus for the Games Village in Melbourne at 10:30 am. This got us to Melbourne by 12:15. We decided to check in at Team Canada HQ before we went for lunch. Pat and I had rooms assigned to us in the village; Alain’s room was at a nearby hotel. We stashed all the gear in our room and then headed off for lunch with Mike Hockings, a small bore three position shooter. Lunch for me was Indian food and it was excellent. After lunch Pat set off to see if he could find his Sony Mini Disk that he had left behind on Tuesday, Alain and I went to check out the International area of the village. The international area has various shops, services and games rooms plus an open air café restaurant. After browsing the shops for a while Alain and I decided to sit down in the café. Since I knew we would go a long time without food at the opening ceremony I had a snack, a small serving of fish and chips. That and several coffees later and we caught up with Pat back at the Canadian residences. His music player had been found and turned in. He was able to recover it from lost and found. Some more chit chat with the other shooters at the accommodation and then around 4:30 it was off for and early dinner before we left for the opening ceremony. This time I had a slice of Pizza and to be honest was getting a little tired of eating. We changed and mustered in front of Canada HQ to be issued ponchos, in case of rain, and last minute instructions about how to proceed through the ceremony. That done we headed off by bus at around 6:00 for the arena. All the athletes were assembled in the gymnastics venue, a short walk from the opening ceremony and given more last minute instructions before walking out and eventually filing into the arena. Walking into the arena with the huge crowd and the flashing of thousands of cameras was quite the experience. It was hard to hear the announcements over the sound system because of the crowd noise and the echoes. We walked past the Queen, tipping our hats and then waved our towels to the crowd and came to a stop to watch the rest of the opening ceremony. Speeches and then fire works, it was a good show. Afterwards, we bused back to the village at around 1:00am. Alain disappeared in search of his hotel and Pat and I went for a late night snack, more Indian for me. A personal record of five meals in one day, I must be going through a growth spurt. I have included a few photos with not too many comments. Cheers, Jim.


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