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Radiant opening ceremony kicks off Commonwealth Games


Migaloo the white whale and hurdling celebrity Sally Pearson were among the star turns in the opening ceremony to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Australia's indigenous culture - which dates back at least 65, 000 years was also a key part of Wednesday night's extravagance at Carrara stadium. A who is who of Australian Sports - Susie O'Neill, Brad McGee, Kurt Fearnley, Liz Ellis and Brent Livermore - took a turn at taking the Queen's Baton around the stadium - before handing it on to Sally Pearson. Like a proud local of the Gold Coast and the largest Australian celebrity from the premier gaming sport, Pearson was ideal option to finish the baton relay, like Cathy Freeman had been the ideal match to light the cauldron in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

However, defining the image of the ceremony is likely to be the of Migaloo, the white humpback whale whose migration up the east shore of Australia is eagerly awaited every year. Call it the Matilda moment of 2018 - just like the introduction at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane remains best remembered for the appearance of a giant winking kangaroo. Having the 71 competing countries known as into the stadium on Wednesday night by the rescue tower was a fantastic touch, as had been tongs, carrying rescue panels inscribed with country names. The very first country in the stadium for the Parade of Nations was Scotland - finish with bright blue kilts.

And the last - as it is traditional - was the host country, which entered the stadium to some tumultuous ovation as well as the strains of a medley of Australian rock classics Evie, Down Under, Playing to Win and need you tonight. It's electric, said teenaged sprint sensation Riley Day from the local Queensland town of Beaudesert. I'd do it a million times longer. It is crazy." . A heavy shower just minutes before the start of the ceremony did not seem to bother the audience or the stars of the show. The Prince of Wales formally declared the Games open, followed by the Duchess of Cornwall.

It's fitting that the Commonwealth Games are known as the Friendly Games as among the world's most populous nations has invited us in their homes for this momentous event. Said Prince Charles. Game can be a wonderful force for good which will help create harmony in between communities. In even the most stressful of times it unites us in a spirit of friendship and competition." . But maybe not everything ran perfectly. Many ticket holders struggled to make it into the stadium in time to the start of the ceremony after they were stranded for up to 2 hours in a key Gold Coast bus exchange. And many indigenous protesters have been arrested like them tried to force their way into Carrara Stadium and interrupt the event. They were part of a group, numbering about 100, who were allegedly chanting no justice, no games".

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