Many athletes whose events are at the beginning of the Olympics chose not to attend the Opening Ceremony which is predicted to be around eight hours duration from leaving the village to returning.
Missing the ceremony is not an option for first time Olympian Bryden, as from what everyone has told him, it's an amazing experience . He is proud to march in the Cook Island team and be part of it all. He will just have extra rest the following day to ensure he is still fresh for his race,
His sister Ella, who is the flag bearer, races the day after Bryden on the 8th.. In each of their races there are 21 athletes, from 21 different countries with the field being cut to 15 after qualifications. There are no universality places in their events so all athletes have had to qualify at the world champs or continental qualifications. Racing will be of a very high standard so exceptional performances from the Cook Islanders would be needed to progress through to the semis. Both athletes have been training incredibly hard in NZ balancing their medical careers with their chosen sport.
Their goals on the day are to just do their best and lay down a run they are proud of. Fast and clean is their motto. This means no touching of the gates or poles that hang over the white water. If they do that well then they will be happy.
Meanwhile life in the village for all of the team consists of bus trips to the various venues around the city as the final trainings take place. In between trainings of course there are trips to the food hall where spotting of famous athletes and trading pins is a highlight.
Athletes such as tennis stars Rafael Nadal and the Williams sisters, plus Sonny Bill Williams from the NZ 7's team seem to be the most sought after for 'selfies' and trading the Cook Island pins.
All the team have now arrived in the village and Ella says "Team atmosphere is awesome with such a small team we are all getting to know each other. Classic good natured Cook Island banter is thrown around constantly!"
By: Sue Clarke
Last Modified on 04/08/2016 14:53