Olympics Olympics Olympics

Pictures: Channel 7

Big banners… international flags…

…smoke… giant inflatable globes… does it get better than this? I think not.

Well, Olympics fever has officially hit the country. Iris and I went to the Olympic soccer on Wednesday. Along with 93,250 of our closest friends, we squeezed into the MCG.

There was a great atmosphere. I don’t normally get too excited about this kind of thing, but there was something just a little bit special about going to an actual Olympic event. There was a nice opening ceremony thingy (obviously not the opening ceremony, which was two days later in Sydney), with lots of kiddies running around in different national dress, flags, fireworks, the full bit. Taxiride
played a couple of songs, there were giant inflatable globes, and the Roulettes flew overhead.

After the singing of the Italian and Australian national anthems (which thankfully was a crowd-based effort, rather than some hideous half-talented celebrity massacring them) the game itself began. For a while it looked like Australia would actually come away with a semi-respectable no score draw… until Italy managed to nudge the ball over the line for the only goal of the night.

A few minutes later it was all over, and we joined the mass of people heading back to Richmond station. It turned into a massive people jam, as tens of thousands of us tried to squeeze through the ticket barriers. There was a Connex
employee with a PA system to keep us all informed as to what was happening, and who obviously fancied himself as a bit of a comedian. But the real comedy came from the crowd, like the teenaged Italy fan who, rising above the crowd on his mate’s shoulders, laughed and joked for a while before, with superb comic timing, peered into the sea of people and in a small pathetic voice said… "Mum?… Where are you mum?"

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.