Team Tuvalu, a Part of Olympic History
By Matt Bowcott of The Reporters’ Academy
Starting, with a scene from a picture perfect countryside, the countdown began for the biggest show on Earth to begin! The roaring crowds helping countdown from 10 to 1, as the 30th Olympiad was officially welcomed to the City of London, for a third time. With over 204 countries set to take part in the Games, London made sure each country would have their own piece of Olympic History, this included Team Tuvalu.
From the idyllic setting we soon saw the transition into Victorian Britain, with houses turning into chimney’s, gardens turning into factories and other poignant moments during that era. We quickly travelled through the era’s, favourite Brits such as James Bond and Rowan Atkinson played a part in the Ceremony.
The team parade, is for many athletes the start of the games, they were officially part of the Games when they walk into the jam packed stadium. Team after Team were called into the stadium and eventually Team Tuvalu’s name was called out. Lead in by weightlifter Lapua Lapua carrying the flag, the team walked in with pride and beaming smiles and they received a warm welcome by London. Dressed in their traditional Blue and Yellow, sprinters Asenate Manoa, Tavevele Noa and the team coaching staff and Chef de Mission waved to the crowd as they walked around the 80,000 seated stadium.
Each country we made part of history, as they were given a copper petal with the team name, and ‘XXX Olympiad’ inscribed inside it. Once the teams flag was handed over, the copper petal was incorporated into what would eventually become the Olympic Cauldron.
The celebrations continued after Tuvalu and the remaining countries had entered the stadium, with music from Arctic Monkey and Paul McCartney. After an Official opening by Her Majesty the Queen, it was time to light the torch. Months of speculation led to many names being thrown into the hat about who would light the torch, when it came to the time to light the Olympic Torch, 7 nominated young people took the responsibility of lighting the cauldron, an effort to ‘inspire a generation’.
The torch was lit and eventually blossomed in to a flower, with all 204 countries having a copper petal on the torch. As the torch burns brightly in the Olympic Stadium over the next 2 weeks, athletes from Tuvalu will be hoping to do their country proud when the time comes to compete, knowing that they are a part of history, and will be able to take part of the London 2012 Olympic Games back to Tuvalu.