Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly have any better days that what I have already had in Sydney, I was proven wrong. I have seen downtown Sydney, I have visited places that I only have dreamed about visiting, and I have already have made memories with good friends, so how can it get better? Visiting the Olympic Park from the 2000 games.
My friend Brennan and I took the hour long commute from our apartments to the park, and we were amazed by everything there. The first thing we did was visit a free observation desk on top of a hotel in the middle of the park. We could see all of the stadiums and parks in the area, and we had the best view of downtown Sydney that I have seen so far. What I saw up there alone was worth the trip for me.
Brennan and I ventured from there around the rest of the park. First, we went to the aquatic center and took pictures of everything in there. We then walked around to other random stadiums that were used for field hockey, tennis, basketball, and other random events. We even got to see the same cauldron that was used for the Olympic Flame.
Even though Brennan and I were in shock of how cool the park was, we had an even bigger treat in store. We bought tickets to tour the stadium where the Opening Ceremonies, track and field events, and Closing Ceremonies were held, which is called ANZ Stadium (formerly Telstra Stadium). The stadium now is currently being used for international sporting events, championship games, some big regular season sporting events for cricket, rugby, and Aussie rules football. We were the only people on the tour, so we were able to ask all the questions we wanted to without feeling like we were those dicks who were holding up the group. We got to see the seating bowl, suites, pressbox (Brennan and I do radio for Augustana sports, so we totally nerded out in there), and locker rooms. It was already a great experience, but it was made even better because we got to stand on the same medal podium that was used for during the games. We thought that it would be clever to put our fists in the air like Tommie Smith and John Carlos infamously did in the 1968 games. Our tour guide even told us that the other person on the medal stand when they did that was an Aussie, so she took a little pride in our move and thought it was hilarious. The tour alone was worth our day, and I am extremely glad that I saw these amazing sites.
The next day, we had to do an orientation with the group who is supporting us in Sydney. Of course, it was boring, but afterwards they bought us kangaroo, emu, crocodile, pumpkin, and other random types of pizza to try. A nice reward after sitting in a classroom for hours.
In the afternoon, my friends Jill, Brian, Brennan, and I went to Allianz field, where Aussie rules football and rugby are played. We didn’t go in, but the stadium was extremely nice anyway. Our treat after walking over there was finding a pub called Bat and Ball near the stadium. We were pretty happy that we showed up in time for Happy Hour, which features $12 beer pitchers and $4 drafts ($12 pitchers and $4 drafts are extremely cheap here, trust me). They even had Australian baseball on TV, and I was extremely glad because I definitely have been feeling a baseball itch since getting down here. This is a pub that you will probably here more about.
The great times continue to flow, and I don’t see them stopping anytime soon!