The Commonwealth Games were only a few short weeks ago – April 4 through 19 – but already it feels like that was a decade ago.
I travelled to the Gold Coast on Saturday 31 March, before the official opening, but with 71 nations competing, athletes, officials, the media and supporters were pouring in and the Commonwealth Games had already begun!
Sunday was spent at Jamroc Jamaican Jerk Chicken Restaurant, in Mermaid Waters, at the function to welcome the Jamaican competitors to the Games. I had my Jamaican Products stall, selling Easter Buns and Jamaican memorabilia. There was the opportunity to catch up with Jamaicans from the Gold Coast, Sydney and as far north as Gladstone. We were all surprised to meet a Jamaican who after 2 years studying in the Gold Coast was meeting other Jamaicans for the first time. “Where had he been?,” we all asked. “In his books,” someone replied.
Lunch was delicious, but the highlight of my day was the dancing by members of the Jamaican Netball team and some Jamaican locals. My last visit to Jamaica was 2 years ago, but I missed out on seeing this dance. It was a chucking of the shoulder and movements of the bum. Now my mirror is assessing my progress with the new dance moves.
Lunch on Monday was at the Helm Bar Surfers Paradise enjoying the food by Karl, the visiting chef from Jamaica.
Before I knew it I was back in Sydney watching the Games on TV. There was not much opportunity to scream Go Jamaica to the TV, as the reporting was Aussie focused. I was caught up in the excitement of the Jamaica vs England netball match. What a finish!
The first, second and third places in the medal tally went to Australia, England and India. While Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, British Virgin Islands and Dominica each won their first Commonwealth Games medals.
In the end Jamaica placed 11th with 7 gold, 9 silver and 11 bronze, with all medals awarded in athletics except for a silver in swimming and bronze in netball. Go Jamaica!