Marathon Opening Ceremony on Friday 4th November
The city of NY wanted to make this year unforgettable for all the runners and the public who came to watch, almost 2 million visitors according to Mary Wittenberg. Meanwhile the exhibition was still running for one more day, for the first time in the history of the New York City marathon, an opening ceremony was scheduled. There were two reasons for this gathering. First, it was an opportunity to present all the participant countries through a parade, and second to give a tribute to two key runners of the NYC Marathon.
Because it was the first attempt, the event needed more details to be fixed. However the whole initial idea was great and deserved to be finalized for the following year.
To put people in the good mood, the speakers were playing some famous club songs. Then at 6 pm, as announced, the show began with a warm introduction of the word welcome translated in several languages. The first animation was performed by the famous team AntiGravity. Composed by 8 members, they jumped, climbed, tumbled, danced and they even used some tools to make their performance more spectacular with hoops or springs. Then the “Parade of Nations” started staring more than 75 countries, Achilles International, and Team For Kids. The parade began with the Greek team. They were the first, and a question popped up in my mind: How was the order set? Was it a way to boost their morale because of the bad crisis they are going through? I am not sure I will ever have the answer, but it made me smile, it seems that there is always a good side in life! It was very solemn to see all the participants walking, group per group, on the finishing line (before even running the marathon) raising their flag close to the name of their country and supported by their community just behind them. We cannot also forget the public who despite of the low temperature was present and supported every country. Some of the countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa decided to bring a local band to play while they were introduced. The United States closed the parade to lead to the second major event, the induction of two running legends, Fred Lebow and Grete Waitz, in the Hall of Fame.
For each of them, a close person came to take the award and say few words in the attention of the beloved and unforgettable person. After this sequence full of memories, an incredible show was going to start. I strongly believe that there is nothing more amazing than fireworks. So when this ideal scene happened in the greatest place of the world on the heart of Central Park while the famous NY hymn of Sinatra was played, the moment became just perfect. We forgot the cold, our frozen feet didn’t bother us anymore, and all your personal hassles vanished for a moment.
All of us did not know where we would be next year… However, one thing was sure, we can say that we attended the first ceremony, and it was an honor to be part of it! NEW YOOOOOOOOOOOORK…