2013 World Games: Facilities and Opening Ceremony
Sports facilities dedicated to skating
Even if the principle of the World Games remains not to build sports facilities dedicated to the event, the Columbians built out of the ground a brand-new semi-covered red arena for the inline hockey competitions. The facility is functionnal although the outdoors work is not totally complete. The area and the stands are spacious and there is a giant screen to display the scores. We can't wait to admire the place full of spectators!
For artistic skating, the venue also has good dimensions, it is slightly oval and reminds us of an ice rink with circular stands in a stadium style. Here again the facility should please the skaters.
Speed skating is not outdone. The area hosting the road circuit and the 200 m track has very roomy and partially covered stands. The ground surface seems to be of very good quality. The logo of the World Games has been added on the blue background of the central part.
The opening ceremony
At first we have the feeling that this is a high-scale task and that the local council of Cali was not on schedule. Then we arrive at the Pascual Guerrero stadium for the opening ceremony... the show blows us away! 40.000 people screaming their heads off, doing mexican waves, happy to be there, proud to be reference people at last after having long suffered from a usurped reputation.
The vice-president of the Republic is in the same tone: in his welcome speech he underlines that Columbians are reliable people and that they are delighted to have all those foreign delegations on their lands.
The crowd in the stadium supports the nations marching in front of them one by one. The most acclaimed nations are Italy, Spain, Venezuela, France and of course Columbia, the last nation to march in an extraordinary atmosphere. The athletes are very moved by the ovation without equal they are treated to.
Then comes the time of the ceremony itself, a show with indigenous rhythms and acrobatics and ending with a wild salsa with over 300 dancers on stage. Amazing. The public makes no mistake about it joining in together with “Cali, you surpassed yourself” in order to thank everybody who worked to pull that country out of oblivion and misfortune, which had been characterizing it for too long in the eyes of the world...
Thanks Cali and now let's make way for sports!
Opening ceremony: firworks
LinksBy Didier Valero
Translation: Chloé Seyres
Photos: Didier Valero and all rights reserved