October 11th, 2000



This is the translation of the last article I wrote for my hometown newspaper. It will appear today, so over here the translation will be even faster than the paper itself.

October 2:

After the closing ceremony last night we had a party for all workers in the Olympic Park. Unfortunately it was very cold, the queue for the barbecue resembled the one for the Olympic megastore a few days before and several colleagues decided to leave early and skip the party. Oh well, not much fun then. After the party I had to rent a computer to make my deadline and stayed on a bit to answer some email and surf the web. By the time I reached my bed, the first commuters had started work, it was nearly 8 in the morning.

After a couple of hours sleep I watch the rerun of the closing ceremony on tv. Quite good actually, especially the final celebrations with the fireworks around the Harbour Bridge was spectacular.

October 3:

The athletes today are being honored with a ticker tape parade in the center of town. Over here they all are invited, not just those who won a medal, just having represented Australia is enough reason to celebrate. And not just today, from tomorrow onwards there will be parades every day in a different state capital, starting in Melbourne. I am in the fourth row, luckily the first three rows consist of not very tall old age pensioners. Next to me an old man is standing on an empty box who is extremely enthusiastic. "Good on you" and "Aussie aussie aussie" seems to be his vocabulary today. At least it's all he yells for the duration of the parade. When the last ones have gone past he hardly has a voice left and is close to a heart attack.

October 4:

Finally time to read the papers. There are some left from even before the Olympics. I found out that Kyrgyzstan has one a medal. I never heard of the country actually. Apparently the Dutch have won a medal at the equestrian as well and the Bahama's surprised at the relay race. It is remarkable how extremely positive everybody is about the volunteers, the spectators and the atmosphere in the city. "Why can't it be Olympics for ever", is someone daydreaming.

October 5:

Another parade. This one is for the volunteers. So for the last time I will wear my uniform and walk along with 40.000 of my colleagues through the streets of Sydney. One of them saw me on television last Sunday, shame I missed it. And again there is over 100.000 people lining the streets. Where do they all come from? Where do they get the energy to remain so enthusiastic?

From high rise office buildings they throw complete envelopes. Apparently they couldn't be bothered anymore to cut them into small pieces anymore. Can't blame them. With live music in a park, free food and drinks and a surprise T-shirt the celebrations end. Some things are organized very well indeed.

October 6:

Day of rest. Sleep a lot and continue to read the papers.

October 7:

Finished my last newspaper. I am really up to date now. At nighttime the opening ceremony gets another run on tv. I haven't seen it yet, so it's a good final for my Olympics. It was a brilliant performance, but somehow to me it takes too long. And then they have cut out bits during the part I like best: the athletes’ parade. I notice now that those beautiful girls I thought to be French are from Greece. The Dutch will realize their importance as well. Mozambique and Angola are still in, but the scissors have left the Dutch outside the summary.

October 8:

My Olympics are done now. Sydney is slowly beginning to come normal again. Within two weeks the Paralympics will begin here.