Tuesday, July 15, 2008

opening of the 4day marches

july 14 2008

We managed to get tickets to witness the opening of the international 4 days marches.

When I was young I used to go each year.
My father was a member of one of the many medical teams and he gave his free ticket to me.
So I've been on the VIP-part, sat between Swedish female soldiers, and cheered between all those thousands of people that crowded the stadium.

I haven't been there in years.
The stadium has been rebuilt and some traditions have changed.

One of them was the time of the beginning.
We had to wait almost two hours before the gates were opened.
Don't think we were the only ones.
There was a huge crowd at "our" gate and I think as much at every other gate.

Somehow we maneged to get through this time by chatting with people around us, observing the crowd, making jokes and even singing when they were testing the sound equipment.

Among the crowd I saw someone who resembled the brother of my grandmother so much, that he must be family. I saw someone whose feet I cared for when I was in the medical team, and some other familiar faces.

Then the gates were opened and I was shocked by how the stadium looks now.

It's so much smaller!
And the field is almost half the isze it used to be.

The surrounding running floor wasn't there anymore, adding to the feeling that the stadium is just small. (Which it isn't)
Instead of the surrounding area there's now a pit, where people come in.
During the games supposts and the police can keep an eye on the people, and no one can enter the fields from the tribunes.

The pre-program was boring.
I guess someone developed it for people with an IQ of about minus 20 to 30.
On top of it all the sound system wasn't working properly and the choir singing had just 1 microphone, which is not enough in a stadium with 12.000 people.

At a certain moment people started to keep themselves bussy with 2 waves going around.

I loved the airballoon visiting us.
For a few moments I thought it would land, to make up for the paratroopers which were unable to jump because their plane leaked oil, but the balloon slowly slided down to have a look, and then made height and disappeared.

When the official program started a sigh of relief went through the stadium.
It was so nice to see the bands enter the field and hear them play.
People started to hum the songs, and it sounded marvellous!

The artistic part was a delight.
I haven't seen photo's yet, but I'll put some links on my blog when they're worth to get an impression.
The show featured one of the best singers of our country. I was told that she's live far better than on CD and they're right. What an inspiring woman Edsilia Romley is!

After that dansers and other artists entered and the performace was awesome. Each part of the show featured a different continent of the world, thus paying respect to all 73 nations taking part in the marches.

Ofcourse the flag of our country was already high in the wind, and all the other flags were raised too.
In the end the flag of the 4 days marches was presented.
The commenter didn't announce it, so people were still sitting.
As soon however as I heard the anthem I stood up, started to sing and I heard the people behind me one by one doing the same.
It was like a wave went through the stadium and in the end everyone was standing and singing the special anthem.

It was almost midnight when we arrived at home.

What an evening!


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