With all the excitement of returning home from our odyssey, we’d almost forgotten we were due to go the Commonwealth Games, as it’s been at least a year since we entered the ballot for local people get the first tickets.
Thank goodness Darrell got an email reminding us to download our tickets, otherwise it might just have passed us by.
We’d applied for all manner of sports, really pinning our hopes on any of the diving competitions …….
…… but we must have been up against some stiff competition as our application was sadly unsuccessful ………
……. however, we did get weightlifting, which was a bit of an after thought, instead, a discipline, quite obviously, we are very much strangers too, but “open” to all it’s pleasures (if that’s the word?), particularly Nigel, who once we got into the hall and arena got very, very excited.
Unfortunately, (or perhaps not ……) we were there a little too early in the morning for the little fella to avail himself of a quick, supervised snatch and jerk on one of the demonstration stands ……..
…… so he had to be satisfied with watching the competitors limbering up and going through their paces in the warm up area via two discreet “watcher” windows, making sure he put no one off by pulling sympathetic strainful faces.
Our seats were brilliant, affording us a magnificent view, sat directly behind a group of members from the Samoan Weightlifting Team, we felt honoured to be in their presence, especially as Samoa sounds such a romantic country.
Once sat down, our excitement continued to grow as the rest of our fellow spectators slowly gathered to take their seats.
The audience was rampantly warmed up, despite the early hour, with our best foot stomping and rhythmic clapping skills honed to perfection and robustly encouraged. We were told to raise the roof, the louder we were helped intoxicate the competitors in to lifting heavier and heavier weights.
Let’s just say Nigel certainly did his bit, as we saw the Commonwealth record after Commonwealth record shattered by a diminutive gentlemen from India lifting 26st flipping stone!
Unfortunately, our guy (below) was beaten into fourth position in the very last few lifts of the competition ……..
….. but we have to admit our allegiance went to the lovely lifter from Kiribati, who was very smiley all the way through, but sadly was unplaced in the end.
Despite initially not knowing a single thing about weightlifting whatsoever, it was sooooooo exciting, awe inspiring, tense at times and above all, emotional, very emotional ….. in fact, as Nigel so succinctly put it, it was like a hefty emotional rollercoaster, from which he left totally exhausted, barely able to lift his backpack onto his back afterwards.
We found ourselves fully invested, groaning loudly when the bar failed to be lifted, to jumping up and down and screaming like banshees when extra weights were added and said records toppled.
However, it’s not a pursuit, we think we would follow ourselves, not even Nigel, as he is, surprisingly, quite protective of his gentleman’s under carriage region, if you know what I mean!
Our full admiration also went to the weightlifting crew who didn’t stopped all morning, running back and forth to the lifting area after every lift to add more weights at the behest of the next lifter, which could change several times during the run up to a lift, even after they sat down, not to mention carefully cleaning the bar and ensuring everything was perfectly positioned for when each competitor came out. They really earned their (large) lunch ….. it was all Darrell and I could do to stop Nigel running over and asking them to sign his ticket when we spotted them after in a restaurant over at Resorts World.
It was a wonderful experience, something we’d never have gone to or are likely to go again, but we wouldn’t have missed it for the world.