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Sydney 2000

The Olympic Games

Olympic glory...We basked in it, touched it, lived it. Friday was our first day out of the data entry job and into the zoo. No, not figuratively speaking -- we were stationed, for our first Olympic job, at the Taronga Zoo. Actually, we were there tending bar (yes, Kate's dream -- but unfortunately, she got to snag very little for herself). Seeing the torch run through was very exciting, but fleeting. VERY fleeting. We only saw it briefly, framed between two elephants' rears. But that was the glance of a lifetime.

The next day, we were at Homebush, the main site, basking in the glow of the Olympic flame, along with about 5 million other people. The place was packed like the proverbial can of sardines, as people sporting the flags of nearly every country on earth milled around, waiting for their events. There was plenty to do, with tents set up for playing games, eating, and drinking, and spirits were high as spectators cheered on their countrymen battling for glory on the big screen.

Saturday night, we saw our first Olympic event - handball. Not sure what to expect, we were blown away by the glorious glorious handball competition. We were lucky enough to see the #2 ranked Russia barely beat back Egypt by 1 goal, then revel in watching #1 Sweden demolish the "we get to play every sport cause we are hosting the games" home team Aussies by 20 goals.

Boxing was great! Somehow we ended up sitting in the middle of this congregation of people from Thailand who screamed "Thai! Thai! Thai" the whole time. We joined in for the fun of it! We both loved it when this cocky Canadian guy ran in and started dancing around the ring and raising his hands in victory before his match even started...we loved it even more when his humble Indian opponent pummeled him the entire match!

Our seats for track and field were pretty high up, but we did get to see little ant-like sprinters resembling Marion Jones, Michael Johnson, and Maurice Green all in the same day. However, our aerial view seats did give us a great view of the Olympic cauldron! We went to the women's soccer final in hopes of finally seeing the USA win a medal. Getting all decked out in the red white and blue, we screamed and cheered amoungst an entire stadium rooting against the Americans. Although they lost the match in overtime, we still had a great time.

As the games ended, we were treated to a spectacular firework show across the harbour. Sydney quickly emptied of tourists; we too began our preparations. A week after the games ended, we left the safety of civilization and headed into the unknown.





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