The Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games took place on 15th September 2000, and I was fortunate enough to be invited.
It was a wonderful time to be living here in Sydney. Complete strangers even laughed and struck up conversations on the trains and buses. It was as if we were all at the same big party!
Some of our friends left town, determined to avoid all the fuss, but many months earlier I had made up my mind that I wanted to be part of the fun as an official volunteer.
Allocated to Protocol, I spent the weeks leading up to the Games at the airport meeting and greeting athletes and officials. Here I am with some of my fellow volunteers, just before the big parade through the city streets afterwards, where we were cheered and clapped for our efforts as “the best volunteers ever” (to quote Juan Antonio Samaranch).
I even went to a post-Olympics celebration where Susie O’Neill (“Madam Butterfly”) let me try on her gold medal.
So many changes since then…. My hair is whiter, my face a little more ‘lived in' - and look at that HUGE mobile phone clipped to my belt!