Opening Ceremony for ITU World Championships
Tonight was the parade of nations and opening ceremonies. It was a truly amazing event. There were 6000 athletes from 62 countries. The evening started out with the parade of nations. The USA was the last country to enter so we were able to watch all of the other countries enter. Australia was the first country to enter. All of the other athletes could hear the crowd going crazy as the Australian team entered. The Australian team almost doubled every other country at the race. Since Australia was the host country they were allowed 30 athletes in every age division. The other countries had a maximum allowance of 20 athletes in each age division. After about an hour of standing around while the other countries entered it was time for Team USA to enter. I was standing next to one of the guys carrying a giant USA flag. The crowd gave us a tremendous ovation and you could hear the Australian fans yelling go yanks. My friends and family were able to see me on the giant screen in the arena. After all of the countries were inside the New Zealand men's team performed the Hakka, which is a dance of the native warriors from New Zealand. The opening ceremony had a Cirque de Solae feel to it. There were fire throwers, acrobats, stilt walkers, and dancers. The show was very cool. After the opening ceremonies the athletes were treated to a pasta feast. It was really amazing seeing all of the athletes from around the world tonight.