Field Hockey Canada > Commonwealth Games Blog - Entry #2

Commonwealth Games Blog – Entry #2

July 25, 2014 | Field Hockey Canada |

Today was certainly a long day, but a good one, and definitely special that guys will remember for a long time.

We were up and out of bed and weighing-in by 6:30, and off on our daily stroll/jog/stretch before grabbing a quick breakfast. It was a bit of a weird schedule because we had a one hour training slot on the main pitch to do some corners and skills training before a 45 minute break and bus over to another training ground where we were to play Wales in the last of our warmup matches.

Despite the awkward timing and schedule, the boys were sharp in the morning and kept a good pace at training. After the second warmup of the morning we played Wales in a short 2×20 match and came away 1-0 winners, having played some good periods of hockey and feeling like we cleaned up a few things that we needed to from earlier in the week.

After the obligatory cool down, stretch and ice baths, we were back in the Athletes Village for the afternoon to relax and unwind before the Opening Ceremonies in the evening. I was pretty knackered from the morning and spent most of the afternoon horizontal, catching up on some sleep and watching shows, and I think that was the case across the board for the most part.

After re-surfacing in the late afternoon, there were some coffee runs, smoothie stops and an early dinner before heading back to the rooms put on our best tartan pants and try our best to look pretty for the big show.

There was a definitely a different buzz in the village, you could feel that the athletes were a little excited and that it was going to be a special night. This was my 5th Opening Ceremony and I’ve had a blast at all of them.

The excitement in the air, not just amongst the Canadian athletes, but through all the countries is super cool, and a really fun thing to be a part of. Throw in the 45,000 fans, Rod Stewart, Queen Elizabeth and an iconic European football (it’s called soccer) and we knew we were in for some fun.

Typically these events can be a whole lot of waiting and standing around, but this may have been the best run opening yet. While we were waiting for a while, we seemed to be constantly moving and that made the time fly by… before we knew we were passing the holding area for the Scotty-dogs (each nation was accompanied by one…really cool) and were next in line to make our entrance.

That moment you step in to the stadium is always awesome. I had young-buck Sukhi beside me, and I could tell he was a bit blown away by it all… your first time in a ceremony really hits home how big an event this is, and how many eyes are on you. You always wish you could just walk another lap or two, but after our strut, we were ushered in the centre of the track to take in the rest of the show and cheer on the other athletes.

After taking our seats we were treated to a great show, highlighted for me by Rod (no leather pants, unfortunately) and the Queen’s stare/glare at the man who couldn’t open the baton from which she was to read her speech… luckily Chris Hoy, Scottish cycling icon was there to save the day.

As the ceremony wrapped up, there started the first event of the Games. The race to get back to wifi, and post as many pics to as many social media platforms as possible. Instagram and Facebook may have overloaded at around midnight last night, but if you haven’t seen any, be sure to check some of the great shots some of our boys put up.

Long day, but a good day. Time to get some rest and re-focus on New Zealand tomorrow and starting the tournament off on the right foot.


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