I arrived at the ESPN Wide World of sports Complex at around 9:00. Before entering the grounds, there were spectators viewing the cycling competition. A drum band played in the distance to psych up the crowd. The energy in the park was absolutely magnetic.
Everyone cheered on all the athletes regardless of their national flag. That’s what I loved seeing the most. I learned last evening that these games aren’t so much about the athletes competing, but their families and the support they receive whilst they participate in the sports they love.
I had some time to kill before a scheduled interview, which I’ll post on Wednesday. I went and observed the finals for the Womens’ Heavyweight Powerlifting competition. Just as with the cycling, the spectators supported all the competing athletes in this venue too.
The heaviest weights lifted were 76 kilograms. For those in the United States, that’s approximately 167.6 pounds; an amazing amount to lift. Not being familiar with power lifting, I learned how the lifting is done with the upper arms only. The competitors can’t move their body when they lift or hold the weights.
I stayed for the presentation of the medals ceremony. Former President of the United states, George
W. Bush presented the women with their medals. The results are as follows: Canada’s Christine Gauthier claimed Gold, lifting 76 kg; the UK’S Nerys Pearce won Silver when she lifted 73 kg and Canada’s Natacha Dupuis took home the Bronze, lifting 71 kg.
One lovely benefit of being a member of the press is having the capability to wander around the stadium grounds. I explored
the venue where the opening ceremonies were held last evening and posed with Mickey Mouse. If you come to Disney, you must at least do something Disney-related!
All too soon, I needed to get the to the meeting place to meet up with my interviewee. I had a lovely time this morning at the games. Spirits were high; everyone was friendly and a great time was had by all. Especially seeing the athletes give their all in their chosen sport.