When Jamie buzzed me about my interest in taking part in the Malaysian leg of the Gold Coast XXI Commonwealth Games 2018 Queen's Baton Relay, I instantly jumped on board. The Gold Coast has always held a special place in my heart.
So, there I was on a bright, clear and sunny morning with the gang, all ready to be a part of a historic once in a lifetime experience. Being the slightly crazy people that we are, Jamie, Choon Yuen, Piew and me decided that we'd head there early and get in a pre-run.
We'll grab any opportunity for added mileage cos that's the way we are. Besides, we were hoping to catch the morning sun and take some vain shots at the same time with the National Stadium as our backdrop.
Once that was out of the way, we made our way to get ready for the start of the event and go down the annals of history. The place was already buzzing with invited participants, former and current national athletes and officials.
|With the GCM crew.|
As always, Jamie, Choon Yuen and me are always on the lookout for any photo opportunities that we can get, we're vain that way ... haha! There was lots of opportunities, that's for sure and we even had the opportunity to handle the baton way before the start of the event. And boy, the amount of pictures and poses we got with the baton was just too many to count.
The baton, that personifies the connection between the ocean and the land with its selection of contrasting materials and finishes. The warm, natural, earthy macadamia wood contrasts the bright, structured reclaimed plastic leading edge. Separated by a stainless steel stringer, you can see the linear reflection of the coastline and hinterland in the Baton’s form.
|The fooling around never ends!|
The Macadamia wood, which is native to the Gold Coast region, used on the back of the Baton represents Gold Coast's past and serves as an important symbol and example of traditional indigenous sustainable cultural practice.
The mirror finish of the stainless steel stringer will create a literal reflection of the Baton’s present surrounds everywhere it travels. Laser-engraved in sequential order are the three- digit alpha codes of all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, providing a visual depiction of the epic journey the Queen’s Baton will take.
|An unbelievable feeling.|
Pic courtesy of Li Leen.
The Queen's message, that will be placed inside is printed on a special paper made from Spinifex; a grass-like plant that has extensive traditional indigenous uses will see its way across the world within 388 days before arriving in the beach side city of the Gold Coast of Australia.
|A selfie with Borobi was a given!|
While waiting for the start Borobi, the blue surfing Koala, the official mascot that flew in (yes, Koala's know how to take airplane rides) all the way from the Gold Coast for the games made his appearance and was an instant hit and most sought after figure for pictures. Of cos, who could resist a photo op with Borobi so I joined in the queue for pictures!
|The team behind Borobi!|
Soon enough, the event proper started with the first group leading the way around a 1.3k loop of the majestic National Stadium. We were in the fourth group and were one of the most vocal and slightly crazy of groups much to the amusement of the master of ceremonies. We were finally flagged off and was now part of a historic event for the games. With the baton in hand, we made our way around the stadium handing off the baton to each and everyone for the experience of a lifetime.
|The start of our group's turn.|
Pic Courtesy of Max Lim.
I was filled with pride when it came to my turn to hold on to the monumental Baton and I could hardly contain my joy. Here I was, with the very Baton that will eventually land in the Gold Coast was clutched in my own hands. It was a little surreal and hard to believe. Of course, thoughts of running off for home with the Baton and gaining international recognition and fame wasn't far off from my mind ... hahaha!
|An unbelievable moment to be holding the Baton!|
Pic Courtesy of ET Tey.
I was humbled and honoured at the end of the day to be a part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 Queen's Baton Relay and will cherish the experience for a lifetime. We all finally headed for some food nearby at the New Chapter by Owls Cafe for some coffee and food and to share our experience of the relay.
|With Edan, Choon Yuen and Mui Khim, who made this historic moment possible|
The XXI Commonwealth Games 2018 will be held in the beach side city of the Gold Coast from the 4th-15th April 2018. This will mark the 5th time that Australia has hosted the games. For more detailed information about the games and Queensland, please do head on these site at www.GC2018.com and www.queensland.com.
|The smile sums it up.|
Pic courtesy of Jamie.
Before I end the post, I'd like to thank Tourism and Events Queensland for the invite to take part in this historic event and the hospitality they showed me during the entire event!