Ian Walker's Olympic Diary - 5th September


More wild weather as British Star sailor and 1996 470 Silver Medallist, Ian Walker, writes about his experiences in Sydney
On Sunday night we were picked up at 4 pm and taken off to the Olympic Village at Homebush Park, about 45 minutes away, to attend the British Olympic Team official welcome. It was a short ceremony in which school children sang an Aussie song called ‘G’Day mate!’, did an Aboriginal dance and sang the National Anthem to the raising of the Union Jack. What an effort to do that for every Olympic Nation - there's over 200 (I think). The Olympic Village and the sporting facilities are an amazing site and a tribute to the Australian organisers. The scale of the village is vast and demands its own bus service as well as buses to the Olympic venues. Each country has its own residential area and the accommodation is two to a room in four bedroom houses and smart portacabins. There are currently 4,720 athletes from 120 countries there, but the number will soon swell to 15,400 athletes and officials. It was a good feeling to be there and it is fun to see athletes of all shapes and sizes in their team kit. It is a bizarre kind of existence behind the security curtain of an Olympic Village. And you can detect a sense of purpose and nervousness about everyone. For recreation there is a nightclub, huge video arcade and internet café, but no alcohol. Everything, including all food and drink, is free. The on-site McDonalds just has slides delivering burgers down to the customers direct! For the non-burger eaters there is every sort of food available in the huge communal dining areas, these can seat 5000 in a sitting. I am looking forward to spending some time there. Back on the water, things have been looking up. Despite not doing as much testing as we may have liked we had

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