Louisa & Tara do the Opening Ceremony
Australian expats in London, Louisa and Tara, recall one of the most memorable days of their lives – as they relive the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
By Louisa Moran
My English work colleagues hate me right now. They missed out on even a single ticket, yet this Aussie backpacker scored a stash of tickets within just months of arriving in the country. I came away with a great selection of events whilst my good friend Tara (and partner in Olympic revelry) came away with the golden tickets – the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. We thought the ticket lottery worked just fine!
The excitement of entering the Olympic Park for the Opening Ceremony was heightened by the masses of attractive English army boys offering free pat downs at security as long as you leave something metallic in your pockets. It was too late to realise it would be a same sex pat down, but you can have some good banter with the boys whilst it’s happening.
The comradery between all nations (except the Americans – nobody likes them) was amazing. The majority of Brit’s seem to lack a certain national pride that us Aussie’s have of dressing up in your national colours from head to toe, painting yourself in Green and Gold all whilst draping the Aussie flag around you. We did have a bit of competition from the Brazilians, but I think the Aussie supporters were the most colourful and patriotic. There were many people who wanted to get photos of us and plenty were doing a collection of trying to get a photo with someone from every country.
It’s a good thing that Australia begins with an ‘A’ as it means you don’t have long to wait before they come out. It also means a drink stop for a £10 No1 Fruit Cup (also known away from the brutal Olympic sponsorship laws as – ‘Pimms’) is well timed between the Aussie’s finishing their parade and the other 192 countries that follow in-between them and team GB. The expat Aussies were out in force from the sound of the roar that erupted when Lauren Jackson walked out with our flag. And although I have no allegiance for Britain, you had to stand when they came out. My reason was mostly to see what Stella McCartney had come up with for their team uniform. The atmosphere was absolutely electrified when they finally made an appearance, followed by exclamations of ‘Are they wearing white…what the?’ This was in comparison to the audible silence that followed the Americans – no one likes a show off.
By Tara Norley
Talk about a night to remember! Olympic Park had an absolutely electric atmosphere and I felt so proud to be Australian. The English Countryside was a beautiful way to open the Ceremony, however the Industrial Revolution was something to behold, with the Olympic rings being forged and coming together above the stadium, before exploding in a shower of amber sparks.
The crowd loved every second of the trip through Britain’s history, including all the music, literature and technology GB has bought to the world. Welcoming the athletes to the arena, one country at a time, we cheered our hearts out as Team Australia entered. It was amazing to feel such a swelling of pride for our team and our country. The athletes made their way to the centre of the stadium for the ultimate finale – the lighting of the Cauldron. Even in the nose bleed sections you could feel the heat of the flame (whether that was literal or wishful thinking I’ll never know) as it was lit by seven young Brits in line with London 2012’s ‘Inspire a Generation’ theme. The crowd watched in awe as the flame closed up in on itself – a spectacular climax to a phenomenal show. For many people, myself included, I believe an Olympics Opening Ceremony really is a once in a lifetime experience, and I am truly grateful that I was there to witness such a breathtaking ceremony.