The Commonwealth Games

Karolin and I went to visit Sue this weekend, and check out the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne while we were there.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the weekend was seeing the track and field events at the Commonwealth Games on Friday night. Sue had picked up some cheap tickets for us - $25 nose-bleed seats - weeks ago. They were, however, directly behind the finish line. When we went into the stadium we asked where we should go, they told us level 4, but we decided to see how low we could get, so instead of going up we went down. No one checked tickets at all. We went to the ground level seats, right beside the finish line, and it was pretty empty. It was early, and so we just sat down to take pictures and stuff, expecting to be kicked out when more people arrived. Well, the place filled up, but no one said anything to us the whole time - we stayed right where we’d sat down the whole night, and the energy of the place was amazing. I think everyone around us got a kick out of me because I was cheering so loudly for Canada - the only Canadian in this sea of Australians. Oh, it was excellent!

Nigeria at the 4 x 400 start line

The other excellent thing about that night was that Susan happened to get in too. She was free to leave her TicketMaster post at 8:30 pm, and it just happened that a lady had an extra ticket that they couldn’t get rid of and so had given it to Susan. While Karolin and I were ground-level on the finish line side of the stadium, Susan ended up getting a ground-level ticket just behind the long jump on the far side. She was sitting with this family that had given her the ticket (and they’re expensive tickets!) and they bought her food and gave her their contact info should she ever need help during her stay. And the long jump finals were also excellent to watch. An Australian jumper won the gold and set a new games record. You could always tell when she was jumping because the stadium would all start to clap in unison and speed up during her jump. And there would be this wave of glittering cameras every time she jumped.

This little Papua-New Guinean ran in the 3000 m steeplechase. He finished last, and was actually lapped by the three Kenyans who swept the medals, but the whole stadium was behind him. Every time he jumped a steeple the crowd would cheer, and he had this standing ovation of 81,000 spectators as he ran down the last stretch of the race. How amazing would that be to have 81,000 people cheering you on? What an experience! Apparently he also represented Papua New Guinea in the mountain bike race the day before.

That was the highlight, but really the entire weekend was fantastic. We also saw the badminton quarterfinals on Friday morning, went to the art gallery, the market, St. Kilda’s for cake, the beach, and the casino. I went in with $10 and came out with $15 after playing roulette, so that was fun. Maybe I should become a professional gambler. ;-P

Okay, I’ve probably bored you all with the track talk, but I love it!

Leave a Reply