Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oly: Ocean flavour to Aussies' opening ceremony march

AAP General News (Australia)
Oly: Ocean flavour to Aussies' opening ceremony march

By Valkerie Mangnall

BEIJING, Aug 8 AAP - Our land is "girt by sea" and there was a distinct ocean feel
to the Australian athletes' uniform as they marched in the opening ceremony for the Beijing
Olympic Games tonight.

Desert ochre has featured before, as has the traditional green and gold of the wattle
tree, but not tonight.

Navy blue on the bottom and gradually fading through lighter hues to peak in a white
cap, the 230 or so competitors - about 70 per cent of the Australian team members in Beijing
- could have resembled waves bobbing as they strode proudly into the main stadium, known
as the Bird's Nest.

Designed by Australian fashion label Sportscraft, the outfit had been kept tightly under wraps.

It featured dark, three-quarter length cargo skirts for the women with tie-up detail
at the sides, and dark trousers with stylish belts for the men.

The team's polo shirts went from royal blue at the waist to light blue, ending in white
collars and were topped by lightweight sports jackets in the same pattern.

The athletes beamed and waved as they entered the arena third-to-last of the 205 nations
in keeping with the position of Australia in the Chinese alphabet.

They were led by flag bearer James Tomkins, a six-time Olympic rower who has won three
Olympic gold medals and one bronze.

The sky had been extremely hazy all evening and the air motionless, creating a steamy
atmosphere inside the open-air venue.

Many Australian athletes opted not to march in the conditions, particularly those with
events starting tomorrow, including the swimmers and road cyclists.

AAP vm/nh


2008 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

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