Michael Sullivan Online


Week 18: The Torch Comes to Town

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA - 6 September 2000 - Mike was actually sick most of this week. On about Tuesday, Mike had caught a cold and was in bed trying to recover. By Friday, Mike was feeling better but his nose was dripping as fast as a faucet. As of now, he still has a dry cough but it has been getting better each day.

Being sick made for a pretty boring weekend. On Saturday, Mike officially signed up as a member of the Ainslie Bears Baseball Club. On Sunday, Mike took the bus to Belconnen and looked at some of equipment at the sporting goods store there.

The excitment for the week came on Tuesday when the Olympic Torch came through Canberra. Mike got down to Parliament House more than an hour and a half before the torch. He joined thousands of Canberrans in a community celebration. While waiting for the torch to arrive, there was entertainment. One of the first performances was the local aboriginal tribes welcomed everyone in a traditional way with didgeridoo. (This is a long tube that you blow into and make a very deep sound.) The highlight, though, was a performance by the Fayette County High School Marching Band from suburban Atlanta. They played the Aussie and American National Anthems as well as the unofficial Aussie national anthem, Waltzing Matilda. After some more rousing numbers, they left and the crowd was forced to endure the cheesy inspirational music that the organizers had chosen. Without warning, the torch was being carried up the corridor. It was pretty exciting seeing the torch that had travelled all the way from Greece and all around Australia. Once on stage, the community cauldron was lit. Mike then got a closer look at the stage where he enountered the State's Chief Minister (the equivalent to governor), Kate Carnell. She was just trying to get a closer look as well as distributing coupons to kids. After all this excitement, Mike went home and relaxed after having been on his feet for hours.

Here ends Mike's fourth month in Australia.

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