Deaflympics opened in spectacular style last night with over 16,000 spectators crammed into the new Taipei Stadium. More than 4,000 athletes from 91 countries are here to compete in 20 events. Mega-stars Jet Li, A-mei, Patina Lin and even the first lady put in appearances during the opening ceremony!
This opening ceremony was elaborate and was directed by renowed theater director, Stanley Lai. Lai spent more than two years and $18.3 million to organize the fantastic two-hour spectacle that was broad-casted to over 160 countries live!
I arrived in Taipei on Sept 2nd after spending time at Salt Lake City attending the Usana International Convention as a Usana athlete. So, the last few days have been a good period of time for adjustment to the different time-zone and climate. Today is the day of my first event, the 1000m sprint which I am looking to do well in. It will begin with a 200m qualifying sprint which all Deaf competitors will do individually. This will determine who will advance to the top 16. Then it will be two-up match sprints over 1000metres on the road in front of the Taipei City Hall.
There should be media coverage of the event today and I will find out where things will be online and whether there is any TV coverage at all of the cycling events!
Thanks to all of my sponsors, without them I would not have made it to my first Deaflympics to represent New Zealand.