When we got to Sydney, the first sensation was that we where in the USA: the streets, the cars, all the ambience reminds us of the USA.
After some sleep in a real bed (after 24 hours inside the same plane), here am I in the street, in the city center: "Oxford Street". The rainbow flags all over the city announce the Gay Games e in the faces of the persons in the street you can read "We are organizing this big party!", you could read.... "Pride!".
Mandatory sightseeing: botanic park, opera, harbour bridge, zoo... and here I go, after all I only had 2 days for me and my partner before the games.
Before the Opening
The night in Oxford St is mad, at day the street is full of people and color, at night it has the some but adds rithm and glamour. Bars with queues that never end. Variated restaurantes and lots of music, and lots of great physiques with matching (limited) clothing.
November 2nd: the ansiety is growing up, everybody is waiting, I was also waiting: after all this was my first Gay Games.
Unfortunatly I did not have a home team to support (for several reasons there was not a single one participant registed from Portugal), but the event it self does deserve all this excitment. More than 70 countries, 11'800 atletes in 31 sports. The eldiest had 89 years, the yongest was 18. The time is comming and here I go to the Aussie Statium... I'm overwelmed by the huge amount of participants present in the place!
Seated in our places (media section) the show is about to begin, and the main figures on stage are kd lang and Jimmy Somerville and much more. In the field, lots of coreographies, lights, sound and creativity in a memorable show. I was there and I will never forget it, you may get an idea from some of the pics here.
But the teams are now starting the march... First, S. Francisco Team, then, one after the others surprise: East Timor, the yongest team of the world is there with one participant, even Antartic, Sri Lanka and Irak have representatives, that showed the world how much is important to participate.
But the good will demonstrations don't stop here: India and Paqustan, received also a big standing ovation due to the fact that they marched together in a clear sign of will to end the differences.
What we saw was a show worthy of any Olympic Games opening, be gay or not... after all this was the biggest event in Sydney since the 2002 Olympic Games. The cerimony ended five hours later with a touching speech from the Australia Supreme Court Judge. The speech showed that there is still lot to do in Australia and in the world to end prejudice, either for gays and straights, black or whites, catolics and hindu, whatever.
Ladies and Gentlemen may the games begin...