Friday, September 24, 2010

Ten years ago - 24 September 2000

From a listserv post:

Geniaus and sons at the athletics
I was one of the lucky ones who had a roof over my head at the Olympic Stadium. I was concerned because we were in the cheapest seats - but we had a great view. I felt so sorry for the plastic-poncho clad crowd in the open stands (umbrella use is banned in stadium) when the heavens opened just before the semi-finals of the women's 400m race. Two Australian icons were in the races - unfortunately Nova Peris-Kneebone bowed out after her race - the tumultuous roar and beating drums of the crowd could not will her to finish in the first four.  Aussie darling, Cathy Freeman, qualified for the final on Day 10.  Only the hardiest of souls in the open stands stayed on to watch the rest of the events - this had a positive benefit for the Balls - the train home was half-empty. The grass around Olympic Park, which is in parts looking like straw, no doubt benefitted from the soaking.  However it was sad that so many athletes had to perform in a stadium only one third full - the atmosphere really suffered. We watched the women's javelin part of the heptathlon, women's triple jump final, men's high jump final, men's hammer throw final and a number of hurdles heats.  I had trouble concentrating as events were run concurrently and I always seemed to be looking the wrong way. A number of the jumpers encouraged the crowd to clap as they did their runups and jumps by waving their arms before they took off - tennis players certainly couldn't serve with this racket going on!!

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