London 2012 is a Games for the whole country – and one of the most spectacular non-London venues is Weymouth and Portland in Dorset, where a summer-long celebration of sport and culture is underway. Our ‘woman on the ground’ is Sasha Fuller, who sends us her first post from the South Coast…
Greetings from sunny Weymouth!
The local community and visitors alike were out in force last night for the Opening Ceremony at the Weymouth & Portland Live site – and what a fabulous and exciting carnival atmosphere it was!
Families and friends of all ages were enjoying the warm sunny evening on the beach watching Danny Boyle’s story of Britain, and all without a rain cloud in sight. The biggest laugh of the evening was reserved for Rowan Atkinson’s antics, the loudest cheer for the Chelsea Pensioners and there was a standing ovation for the Queen’s appearance. As far as Weymouth and Portland were concerned, the Opening Ceremony was here!
With the Cultural Olympiad’s Battle for the Winds getting underway this afternoon on the Esplanade the community is already gearing up for another evening of celebration and excitement. The Battle for the Winds is just fabulous – it’s a series of engaging street performances marking the opening celebrations of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events. Seven teams of heroic Wind Gatherers from each region in the South West have been out and about across the country ‘gathering winds’ in time for the Olympic sailors to harness them in Weymouth and Portland for the racing – all the while avoiding the nasty wind-stealing Doldrum.
All of the groups were out today in colourful, imaginative costumes, explaining to onlookers how their wind machines were the best at gathering wind, entertaining the crowd with acrobatic fetes and otherwise playfully competing with each other for the crowd’s attention.
I expect the competition to get fierce this evening for The Final Battle on Weymouth beach, where Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and West of England fight it out to have their wind chosen to power the sailing events, and ultimately, the Olympians to victory.
I can’t wait!
Sasha will be blogging from Weymouth and Portland. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SVFuller.
You can also get the latest from the Government Olympic Communication team on Twitter and Instagram @2012govuk.