Well, the crowd was huge: 100,000 people and 3.7 billion watching on TV. The biggest peacetime event. But in our little corner, you only saw the media boxes and VIP bit in front of us and it was easy to relax and it wasn’t until you looked over your shoulder that you realised what was behind; a sea of people, torches glowing. And when they cheered, you couldn’t help but be affected. The defining moment for me was when Australia came on: the roar from the crowd pricked your senses, you watched and admired the huge team as they took in the view walking past you. I could smell the athletes they were so close; body cologne and aftershaves from all around the world. Wow. Not to mention the third time I’ve seen Pat Rafter this week – I swear he’s stalking me! (Sorry, got distracted, a couple of Coogee lifeguards just walked past…!)
Anyway, when Team GB walked past, I don’t think I recognised one of them! The track and field team weren’t there and it was kind of disappointing. They were all dressed in tracksuit tops; men in blue, women in white, and all mashed in together. Not particularly eye catching at all. Not smart and chic like some of the other teams. Notably, Italy in navy blue blazers and each athlete had a different colour of trousers on – red, yellow, green and blue – it was great. The Dutch looked good too in their orange blazers and so did the African countries. Swaziland was cool as they did an African dance on their way round. Mongolia had what looked like a sumo wrestler carrying their flag and he was dressed like one too! Japan was wearing coloured kite/cape type things on their backs. Canada looked good in their beach hats. Yep, it was lovely. So then India and Italy were behind us and the atmosphere was wicked. Golly, my hand is hurting from writing; I’ve got to stop for a bit!!! All too exciting for words.