The people here in Greenville have been absolutely AMAZING! I don’t think that there has been a day go by where we haven’t been stopped walking near the hotel and either asked what we were all about or wishing us well. We even had one lady the other night want to pay for our frozen yoghurt for 6 of us! We have even had some of our riders prayed for!
The other day a few of our riders (the faster ones!) went riding with a bunch from the Greenville Spinners Bicycle Club and after the ride were asked a few days later to come to a BBQ at the home of Doug and Jodi Imes. So 6 of us headed to the suburb of Greer for a real southern welcome! There were a few other people there plus the kids and the hospitality we were shown was incredible.
That night we found out that Jodi was a teacher at the Sevier Middle School not too far from the centre of Greenville. So we organised to take four of us to the school and talk to one class of grade 7 students. Mick Curran, Matt Formston, Stuart Tripp and myself headed there yesterday afternoon. We had an hour with the class to try and inspire them to live the life that they wanted. Take those 2 words can’t and never out. I think that with the video that Matt and Mick have done on their website Champion Vision and Stuart’s story about how he lost his leg and how he can wave with his stump, they were in awe! I can say that the next class coming in were disappointed that we weren’t able to stay and chat with them.
Tonight we had the Opening Ceremonies right in the centre of Greenville and there was to be a parade of nations. So before we headed in we wanted to get a team photo.
With 40 nations here to compete it was quite a large group that were introduced to the crowd. I was impressed with how many people were there to watch and just before we were organised in countries to walk through the crowd I was honoured to be asked to carry the flag for Australia. Not something I thought I would be doing! We were the second country in after Argentina and we certainly got quite a cheer. There were even people from the BBQ the other that that were in the audience. It was very short and well run with all of the athletes walked into an area with food and drinks while the speakers were continuing to the crowd. All in all a very nice Opening Ceremonies.
We are now definitely at the pointy end of preparation. Tomorrow the Time Trial course is closed to vehicular traffic and the Trikes and Hand Cycles have full access from 10-11am, then the 2 wheels including the tandems have access from 11am-12pm. Tomorrow night the Hand Cycle relay takes place on the BMW testing track (Australia doesn’t have a team in this) and the racing begins Friday!
LET THE RACING BEGIN!!!!!!!