Tomorrow morning our time the opening ceremony of the London Olympics will be underway.
Let’s hope the city has the same vibe and excitement as we had here.
If you are keen it will be broadcast on NINE from 5.30am , but also repeated at 2 on Saturday afternoon.
12 years ago Sydney was getting ready for the 2000, so I thought I’d rehash my thoughts from a blog I wrote last year to remember the 11th anniversary…
I will never forget those 17 days when our city hosted the games.
It was a magical time when all the planets seemed to align and make Sydney the most talked about city in the world.
In the year’s leading up to the games, there was constant criticism, with predictions the event would send the state broke, and many residents threatened to leave town, fearing the city would be a nightmare and bursting at the seams with congestion.
But as soon as that Olympic flame hit town, the public mood changed.
All of a sudden every man, woman and child became consumed with the Olympics.
It was amazing to walk down the street and talk to total strangers, while there was a happy buzz in the air.
Amazingly, public transport ran like clockwork, and our roads were free of traffic jams.
The opening night ceremony still remains implanted in my memory, as one of the best nights of my life.
It was so uniquely Australian and made you really proud to know a BILLION people around the world were focussed on our city.
Who can ever forget the arrival of the stock-horse, Nicky Webster, or the tension, when Cathy Freeman stood with the torch raised in her hand waiting for the cauldron to rise above her ?
I also remember going out to the Olympic precinct with Jason every night to watch events from track and field to hockey and swimming.
Do you remember the thousands of people that lined the streets as the marathon was held?
Or the way the nation stopped, to watch Australia pick up another gold medal, at one of the hundreds of live sites across Australia?
Another highlight was the closing night concert in the Domain with Savage Garden, and the hangover the next day.
The hangover was not caused by alcohol, but by the realisation that we had just lived through the times of our lives.
If you are too young to properly remember the Olympics, this blog may not make complete sense to you.
If you did live through it, you know exactly what I’m talking about !