Wow! That’s me back home from Delhi and what a week it has been! I can only explain it as the biggest roller coaster ride of my entire life.
Left for Delhi early Tuesday morning, met up with the rest of my travelling group in the Glasgow City Chambers where we were given our travel uniforms and some essential travel documents. Travelled to London and then onto Delhi. Everyone was excited to say the least and it was great meeting up with everyone again after having not seen them for a week since Bootcamp finished.
We arrived in Delhi late on Wednesday morning and received our all our necessary accreditations for the performance. It was quite daunting to be escorted through the airport by armed guards but everyone took it in their stride and some even had their pictures taken with them. The armed guards also escorted us to our hotel.
After arriving at our hotel, there was a lot of security to get through but this didn’t dampen our spirits. I think it only added to the whole occasion and made us all feel even more important!
After lunch we had our first experience of the stadium and we walked on to the field of play. It was hard to believe that we were actually going to perform the next day in the stadium to a live audience of 60 thousand people and a televised audience of over 1 billion people.
We were warmly welcomed by the organisers and all the Indians taking part in the closing ceremony. It was a long day and at 10.30pm we arrived back at our hotel in time for dinner and then bed.
Thursday morning and performance day was here.
Our day started at 5am and between 5am and 10am we had showered, breakfasted, and arrived at the stadium, again there was soo much security to get through, however everyone was efficient and this got done fairly quickly.
We had a full rehearsal after our arrival then we got to watch rehearsals for the closing ceremony which was great as we wouldn't be able to see it in the evening.
The weather was hot hot hot and made all the waiting about almost unbearable but we were constantly being given water to drink and eventually when we all realised that there was going to be a lot of waiting around we all rallied around each other, played games, and generally just kept each other's spirits up. After a late lunch it was time to get our costumes on and all of a suddenly we were there, in the vom's, just waiting, panic set in and a lot of people where worried that their ear piece wouldn't work, that they would miss their cue's or drop their props however it was a very emotional time as everyone was reflecting on the month that had been, and the journey that had brought them to this moment in time, we were no longer friends we were now members of this fantastic family that had been brought together by the one thing we all have in common and that is the passion they share for their country and their culture.
Waiting in the blackout area while the speeches were going on was really scary, to say the least. There was just the anticipation of performing a great show to keep us focussed. Then suddenly we were there, on the field of play, performing on behalf of fellow countrymen, bringing a whole flavour of Scotland to Delhi and what a show it was! The atmosphere was astounding, the air was filled with sheer energy and excitement and before you knew it, it was all over. I thought to myself, was that it? Surely not! I didn't want it to be over! I just wanted to hold that amazing sense of pride and feeling that I have just experienced I know will be with me forever.
Back at the hotel we were given an amazing reception and we all watched the Ceremony play back, which was absolutely amazing even to the point that we were all going through our cues out loud whilst watching the performance. I just felt that I didn’t ever want this amazing experience to end.
Having arrived in Delhi airport early Friday morning, the first news headline we saw was "Glasgow Steals the Show". We all bought the paper to take home. I think the newsagent sold out of papers in the first half an hour of our arrival.
The plane journey home was long, despite this everyone still felt fantastic and made it through the journey still on a complete high. We arrived home in Glasgow at approximately 11.30pm and then home by 01.00am
How could I sum up this totally amazing experience?
As I said at the start, it's like being on the biggest roller coaster ever. You get on not knowing what to expect, you are scared out you wits, you want to get off but you can't because you are gripping so tight with your hands you knuckles are white. Then, all of a sudden you are on your way and before you know it it's over and you have just had the most fun ride of your life.
Would I do it again? Of course I would!
I can't wait till 2014. I know that Glasgow will put on the most amazing Games ever. I sincerely hope that I can help in some way and would definitely recommend that everyone get involved if they can.