My son and I made the effort to get into the Queen Street Mall to see the Olympian’s parade (wearing as much Australian green and gold clothing as we could find).
And I must say, I’m so glad we did.
I’m a regular to these kinds of events, but this one seemed extra special. It may have been because I was able to share the passion for sporting accolades with my little one. But it could also have been that we appeared a lot closer to the action this time round. I’d say we were one to two metres away from the stars as they drove by on the top of a shiny 4WD ute, or walking by. Walking was generally for the lesser known athletes or, heavens above those who may not have won a medal.
It was hard not to get emotional as they went by with my three year old on my shoulders yelling, ‘Well done, you did really really good’. It was really a special moment.
The big hit with the crowd – around us at least – were the explosive streamers the Olympians seemed to have in ample supply. I assume they had plenty. We were standing around 40m into the procession, and there didn’t appear to be any rationing going on with them being shot off every few seconds. My son got an impressive collection of streamers to dangle proudly around his neck like his own little medals.
In stark contrast to Channel 7’s Olympic coverage, Stephanie Rice only passed us once. We half-expected her to go past in every second car.
At the request of my son, which I supported whole-heartedly, we avoided the presentations. This also made us miss our Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman giving today’s hero Ms. Rice the keys to the city.
Instead we made our way around the massive crowd to the little one’s new favourite place in the city, the Brisbance Square (City Council) library. On the first floor they have a great space for children to be themselves while accessing some great resources. Despite the mass of children’s books on display, my boy prefers to walk past a more grown-up section on the way in and grab a handful of magazines devoted to people with far too much interest in model trains to be healthy. It keeps him happy. And I’m always able to find enough mags to keep me entertained. On top of all this there are loads of spots available to read with good views of the Brisbane River to conjur up some daydreaming.
It’s always a good day in the city when there’s a memorable occasion such as today, particularly when Brisbane turns on its best weather.