Rugby World Cup 2015: Opening Ceremony

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Opening ceremony

The day has arrived. I have sold my house, packed up my life, dog, and cat, and travelled across the seas (from Canada), along with Husband Lee, Daughter Kerri and Son Liam. Destination is England, the place of my birth, and the 2015 World Cup. In my hand, I hold a coveted ticket to the Opening Ceremony and the England v Fiji game. Millions of people are watching the same event throughout the world, but I am one of the lucky 82,000 who will take a seat in Twickenham stadium in London.

Son Liam is with me; he has come along for the experience, though he is jealous of my ticket and desperate to be in the stadium. Sadly, this is unlikely, as tickets are being sold for hundreds of dollars over face value, and there don’t seem to be many of them around. As we join the throngs of fans swarming the streets, we encounter someone selling a single ticket. I nervously ask him how much he is asking, and to our surprise he asks for less than face value. I have heard that many counterfeit tickets have been sold, and many people are being turned away at the gates. I take a calculated gamble and buy Liam the ticket. Luckily, it’s good. He gets in, and he is very, very happy.

From my prized seat in the Press box, I watch as the crowd sing along to Sweet Caroline, and then Jerusalem, both required and expected, and both of which I love, but neither mean much to the rest of the world which is why I am guessing are not broadcast. They lead to the televised part of the ceremony – which receive mixed reviews but and then they erupt in appreciation as the opening ceremony gives them fireworks, special effects, passion and history. I love it. I love that it reminds the world that England is the birthplace of rugby, and I love that it reminds us why we are all here.

And why we are all here is the love of the game. England v Fiji is not the best game of rugby ever played, but that seems largely irrelevant, as this night is all about passion and heart, and it’s here, all around, consuming each and every one of us. As the teams battle on the pitch, the roar of Twickenham rumbles low and loud, and with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat, I soak it all in, grateful to be a part of this momentous night. And of course, England win – if not convincingly – but they do win, and  it is not just Son Liam who is very, very happy.