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Friday, 11 September 2020

Remembering the Sydney 2000 Olympics

 "You should consider getting out of town" we were told, but we didn't.

"You should take annual leave as the traffic will be so bad it will take hours to get to work" except no one was driving to Chatswood where my office was, so the traffic was fine.

We had all expected the Games to be a disaster and cause unprecedented chaos - The Games with John Clarke, Bryan Dawe and Gina Riley was mandatory viewing in the lead up to the event, and did seem to uncannily be art predicting life...

"It will be impossible to get tickets" so we applied for more than we could afford assuming we would only get one, if we were lucky. We got three - the night of the 100 metres (and surprising highlight of the night, the pole vault with the fabulous Tatiana Grigorieva). Due to some rumoured corruption being amended, we also ended up right up the front. We were amazed at how close we were - 8 rows from the action.

We also went to the soccer - both the semi, where the whole stadium cheered for the Spanish team, because they were playing America. Then the final,where the Spaniards were perplexed they'd lost all support as the whole stadium went berserk for the Cameroon team (Australia loves an underdog). After a two all draw it came down to a nail biting penalty shoot out which Cameroon won.

We had friends in the ticket allocation lament they'd only got beach volley ball, we had all laughed, not knowing that soon that would be the hottest ticket in town! The whole city became mad for beach volley ball. It was all you would hear on the radio, or want to watch on the tv. 

I was working through out and would hurry clients up in meetings with "The 200 hundred is on in 6 minutes - let's wrap this up and watch it on the big screen in Martin Place". I made a lot of quick and easy sales as a result of everyone's elated holiday mood.

There was much discussion about some woman meeting a Prince at the Slip Inn. And why was a Prince at the Slip Inn in the first place?

I was heavily pregnant (and 22 kilos heavier than normal), and after waddling around for hours and inching in the queue to transport home, a volunteer pulled me out of line and showed me the queue-less disabled exit. So next time we saved ourselves an hour in line and walked straight out! 

I loved the Sydney Olympics. There was a huge let down when they ended and the city returned to normal. For a brief window in time, it touched everything in life. You had parties to watch the opening and closing ceremonies. You had people over to watch events or you headed out to a screen to share the excitement with strangers. You always had something to talk about with people. Sydney was drawn together and a much friendlier place.

What do you remember about the Sydney Olympics?

Linking with #Lifethisweek and #TrafficJamWeekend


11 comments:

  1. A beautiful evocation of these games and the atmosphere of the city.

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  2. I loved reading your memories of that time Lydia! It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. We did actually leave the country on a family holiday (for good reason) but part of me wishes we'd been here to enjoy it all. Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts on that time, I still can't believe it was 20 years ago!

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  3. Lucky you! I have always been put off by the ticketing system. If it ever comes back to Melbourne, maybe I will have a go.

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  4. What a wonderful experience you had at the Sydney Olympics. Thanks for sharing it. #lifethisweek

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  5. I love this pist. Your memories brought up memories for me that I hadn’t thought of when writing me pist. The Cameroon soccer team! I became a bit of a soccer fan following them. Even though I knew nothing about soccer.

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    1. Excuse my typos. Note to self: read before posting

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    2. Same (re Cameroon)! And I'm fluent in typos so never worry about that...

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  6. Hi Lydia, we went to 2 soccer games too with our 5 and 8 year old sons. They were great fun. My younger son is an avid soccer fan - maybe that's why? We loved the Games, and were lucky to host the Commonwealth Games here at the Gold Coast. They're a great event for our country to get behind and enjoy

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  7. I can't believe it was 20 years ago. We were at those football games too. Also went to a night at the Velodrome over in Bankstown & best of all the practice run for the opening ceremony. It was such an exciting time to be in Sydney and everyone seemed...nice.My nan volunteered and, at 82 was the oldest volunteer. She used to catch the train in from Minto, change at Strathfield and walk to the venues. She also used to party late afterwards.

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    1. Now THAT is a story! You should write about your Nan!

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  8. So good reading your memories. I remember driving home from Blacktown and stopping for petrol to LISTEN to the final of the Beach Volleyball! So much intense interest wasn't there...Thank you for joining the link up for #lifethisweek. Next week, the optional prompt is 38/51 Grateful For This. 21.9.2020 I hope that you link up again too. Take care, Denyse.

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