Sunday, September 20
The waiting’s nearly over.
The athletes are just about all here, the games’ villages are filling up, flags flying as each country arrives.
The venues are sparkling.
The vitally important caterers, cooks and cleaners are operational.
Even the sun is shining after a couple of wet, cloudy, cold weeks.
Tomorrow, (Monday Cook Islands time) the opening ceremony gets underway at 2pm. It’s supposed to be relatively short so that the athletes don’t have to hang around for hours in the hot sun, but I’ve got a feeling that the part of the programme that says each country will ‘keep moving slowly and never stop’ is going to be ignored. A lot of these guys are natural showmen. Why move slowly when you can dance, chant or do the island version of a haka?
Oire Nikao, the overall winners of the Maeva Nui cultural dance competition, play a part in the festivities. Once the games are over I’m looking forward to getting some of the footage I took of their rehearsals on the web.
There was a rehearsal on Saturday, a bit of a walk through of the various parts of the programme (excluding the speeches thank goodness – there’ll be enough of them on Monday). It gave the choir a chance to sing the mini games theme song ‘Share the moments’. They’ve been practicing of course but it’s different in the open air at the stadium than it has been inside the auditorium.
This video is a brief look at the practice with the theme song as a soundtrack.
Don’t forget to keep checking the games website for stories, photographs and videos of what’s going on. It will be updated daily – hourly in the case of some sports and results. And we’ll be using reports from the Supporter to Reporter group of young journalists from the UK so there should be plenty to keep Cookies and fans of the Cooks occupied.