Olympic Update Number 2
Hello from the Games!
A note to all staff at KMC who will be glued to the TV!!
There is nothing more frustrating than spending an hour writing an e-mail to discover it has been lost!!
So lets start again!! I can't believe I have to start all over again!
Lets start with the village again.
Each country is housed in towers. Ours has 8 floors and there are 6 apartments on each floor, each hosting 3-4 athletes. There are about 17 thousand athletes in the village from 230 countries.
NZ occupies 1 tower with its 280+ personal - athletes and support crew/coaches. Not everyone is housed in at the same time - the sailors, football and rowing teams are outside of the village at the moment. Other teams who are bigger take up more than one building. Team GB and Australia and USA occupy several tower blocks. Each country tries to personalize their accommodation. We have several Pou at the entrance, as well as flags and Ferns on our windows (see photos). Other countries have similar icons typical of their identity - Canada has a life size model of a moose! Australia has chosen to have the slogan “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” on their windows – mmmm, they could have been more imaginative.
GB has a poster saying "our best ever team" - a recipe for disaster surely!
Within the tower are an operations room, and athlete’s lounge as well as the medical room. This is manned over 24hrs and I'm on every 2nd night. So far it's not been too busy at night, but during the day, there is a constant stream of athletes to see.
This is a sporting haven of course, and I'm often to be found at a desk…. but looking at the televised events. There are 3 big screens in the athletes lounge - tuned to different events, where we receive live feeds.
In the medical room I'm watching basketball and in the lounge there's kayaking, hockey and weightlifting!
Every NZ athlete who enters the village for the first time, as an individual or as a team, is greeted with a Haka. It falls on any team member to welcome fellow countrymen into the village with a Haka. It follows that this is a huge spectacle for other countries to watch and when word gets out that a NZ team is coming in for the first time, there are crowds waiting to watch the Haka. Being on the 1st floor - I get roped in too often!! . Luckily, I am surrounded by like-minded personal that do not believe it is necessary to remove the shirt to do the Haka. Each individual or team who receives a haka, never forgets this welcome, and it is unique - no other country has such a welcome. I believe it bonds us as a team for the Games. Some teams will respond with a Haka back to us - as did swimming, men’s hockey and women's football. This was a truly inspiring sight and made the hairs on my neck stand as I witnessed the passion in the swimmers and hockey