Saturday, March 18, 2006

XVIII Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

Note: This post is a continuation of my previous post on the 1st day of the XVIII Commonwealth Games. The photos I've used in this posts are a result of the efforts of my friend P who helped me take them inside the MCG where the event was taking place and also my own takings of the ceremony down on the Yarra River during the Ceremony. Thanks P, this is also your post buddy. I've also used some photos from the media because our cameras don't take very good night and fireworks shots, how I wish I have 5xmom's camera for that day!

We got to the bank of the Yarra River at around 6.30 pm and there were already lots of people camping out for the event of a lifetime. We managed to find a small plot on the grass to plonk our asses down and setup camp!

We heard that the event will start at 7.30 pm so we have an hour to kill while we waited. We noticed that the organisers were still putting the final touches to the setups like making sure the lights work and the big TV screens on the river bank work for the 100 thousand of people estimated to be there that day.

There were helicopters circling overhead and above the MCG and there were so many security guards and police officers walking up and down looking for trouble makers. If you look carefully at this photo you can see the buses taking the athletes and volunteers into the MCG for the Grand Opening.

Meanwhile inside the MCG people are arriving very punctually and early so as to get themselves settled down before the Show starts. There were over 80 thousand people at the MCG that night paying over A$400 to get the privilege to witness this! I can't afford it so I'm down by the river with the poor people.

When 7.30 pm came I found out that the real event doesn't start until 8.30 pm! So in the meantime they had TV presenters making appearance down the river and cricketers playing crickets in the MCG! How boring can that be! They could've got some entertainers to perform not bloody cricket! The organisers should be shot!

Then the moment we've all been waiting for arrived, they started the countdown starting with the first Commonwealth Games and working all the way up to today. We got to watch all that on the big screens down by the river bank.

If you've been watching it on TV you would've known what happened. The show started with the Flying Tram which is so very Melbournian. People came out from everywhere and seriously I can't remember what went on after that because...

...down by the river we had a show of our own with the light show and the water fountain fish. Everyone was mesmerised! This is what we've all been waiting for! It was spectacular! Watching it on TV gives you the best seat but when you're here in the atmosphere it was just sensational! This will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The city scrapers in the background made a stunning backdrop for the colourful fish along the river changing colours according to music and the moods of the event as it unfolds.

Then came time for the Australian National Anthem and everyone was required to stand and sing along, inside the MCG and down by the Yarra. Good coz it gave me a chance to stretch my legs but I couldn't remember the words so I just mumbled along!

Once the Anthem finish the fireworks started! It was awesome! Everyone was screaming with joy as the fireworks continue along the river and from the MCG as well.

We were surprised to see that they even have the fireworks from the sky scrapers! It was so unexpected but an excellent display of pyrotechnics.

After the fireworks the show continued inside the MCG with the flying koalas, the replica of the Arts Centre tower and the duck boy! I still don't understand what the duck boy was all about.

When that was over the athletes started pouring into the stadium and what a colourful display they made with their different uniforms and attires they wore. The Australian team of course came out last amidst cheers and standing ovations!

Meanwhile down by the river people were starting to leave thinking the athletes would take a long time to all come out. We left too thinking we could watch the remainder of the Ceremony on TV at home coz the traffic will be horrific if we stayed the whole night. Something I regret later on.

Inside the MCG the show continued with Delta Goodrem singing a new song she wrote especially for this event called Together We Are One.

Her song continued with skaters coming out with fireworks strapped on their backs and circling Delta Goodrem in the center of the stadium. It was quite amazing.

The show went on till about 10.30 pm. So it was only about 2 hours starting at 8.30pm. The waiting was even longer! Glad I didn't pay A$400 to go watch it inside the MCG!

This is the part I regret going home early. At the end of the Ceremony there was an even bigger and better fireworks from the MCG...

...fireworks from the buildings in the city!

And along the Yarra River! I missed out on the real thing! I watched it on TV and my jaw literally drop when I saw that on TV. :( I'm planning to go watch the whole thing on the Closing Ceremony!

Latest updates as I'm writing;

Australia: 10 Gold 10 Silver 8 Bronze
India: 4 Gold 3 Silver
Canada: 2 Gold 5 Silver 3 Bronze
England: 2 Gold 4 Silver 4 Bronze
Scotland: 2 Gold 2 Bronze
Malaysia: 1 Gold 2 Bronze Malaysia Boleh!


robin said...

wah lau..
why u go home so early?? this kind of thing is once in a lifetime experience man !! Should have stayed !!!

xaverri said...

sobb i left early too (midway thru athletes' arrival). Thought I could make it back in time to watch the fireworks finale on tv. But it happened when our train reached Richmond. The nice train driver slowed the train to a crawl.. oh well I'll prob go to the Yarra again for the closing.

fooDcrazEE said...

it was great and i only watched it in TV...

Amelia said...

Another well-written review.
Btw, can you still remember "Negaraku"'s wordings? ;)
I like Delta Goodrem's "Together We Are One" & she looks really good during the performance.
Thanks again, mate. :)
Thanks also to P for the nice photos. :) said...

you miss the birthday song part
when did they sing the birthday song to the queen?

Minny said...

Awesome pics mate.....Looks like most of the other countries' athletes are gonna get owned by Australia, England & Canada

Wuching said...

robin: yaloh! i'm still kicking myself!

xaverri: yes, i'm planning to go for the closing too, have to be there early to get a spot!

foodcrazee: u got the best seat watching it on tv at home mate

amelia: yes surprisingly i can still remember the word to 'negaraku' but not 'advance australia' shame on me! delta's song was really good, everybody loves her!

yothemans: haih..i couldn't care less for the queen's birthday song..

minny: yes it is a bit one sided competition, its always the same victors & the same old losers..makes the games un-competitive.

Helen said...

OMG!!! Such nice pictures!!??

I imagine you must be climbing up and down, overcoming the sea of heads in front of you.. to get the perfect shot.

Good work, nice pics.... satisfaction in itself already hor? lol

Alex Allied said...

nice coverage there!!! Bravo Wuching!

Ah Pek said...

dunno why it wasn't covered by the malaysian national tv.

Amelia said...

Ah Pek: It was on RTM TV1

Arrived safely home last nite.
Still sorting out my stuff... will email you the pixs when I'm ready :)

Anonymous said...

This will stay with me for the rest of my life.

In year 2086, great grandpa Wuching sitting down with great grandkids...

"You know...great grandkids, I remember the time when I was down by the Yarra River watching fireworks but I missed the best show because I did not wait. So, chewren...remember to wait for best at the last....."
-5xmom who can;t log in to blogger-

amelia said...

Ahhh Wuching... so I wasn't the only one facing the problem like 5xmom...'cos 2 days ago I also couldn't logged as 'other'... :(

Anyway, chk ur mailbox. I've sent you the mp3 of Delta's song. Enjoy it, mate! :)

Wuching said...

helen: thank you very much, i've had help from my friend inside the mcg

alex allied: thanz buddy, you should've been there too, you MUST go to the closing ceremony ya..

apek: you missed out on tv1 broadcast liao!

amelia: good trip? let yourself settle down first before sending me rush & thankz for the mp3!

5xmom: yes, blogger's having all sorts of problems..not happy :(

Helen said...

Another thing I need to ask you.... When u take those night shots with fireworks, how u do it?? U actually set a tripod in the middle of the crowd or u really have steady hands??? lol

Can I know wat camera u use and how many seconds u set apperture open for the nightshot??

Thanks... Helen on behalf of Nat Geo. (wannabes)

Cocka Doodle said...

Great pics. Eh, Australia got national anthem meh? Its not Waltzing Matilda meh? or Tie me kangaroo down? LOL

Wuching said...

helen: looks like you haven't been reading the post but just looking at the pictires only hor! if you have read it, you would've known that i mentioned i took the photos from 3 sources, myself down by the river, my friend who was inside the mcg & the medias. the cameras my friend & i have are just sony cybershot dscp-10 & canon a70 both are just simple digital cameras which will never be able to take very good night shots or fireworks. photos # 11 & 12 were shots of fireworks taken with the canon camera on auto mode & the last 3 photos of fireworks were all 'borrowed' from the medias on their websites! so i'm sorry i can't help you on how to become a great photographer for national geographic but maybe 5xmom can with her kick-ass cameras! :)

cocka doodle: of course australia got anthem; 'advance australia fair' bah thot 'waltzing matilda' is sort of a de-facto anthem by the people. 'tie the kangaroo down'? diu!

Helen said...

Sigh... no free lesson afterall hor? :-(

Dang, I guess the first important lesson in getting those great shots in crowded places is securing a strategic spot... where no dumb tourist is gonna block your view. Easier said than done.

Thanks. :-)

Che-Cheh said...

OooOhh WOW Wuching, you rock baby! This is the best highlights from you and your friend P. Thanks a million. I totally miss the opening ceremony and repeats.

And make sure you are the last one leaving. :)

Wuching said...

helen: i'm so sorry! :(

che-cheh: yeah baby! i'm a rock! :/ will stay for the duration of the closing ceremony this sunday..