12 years ago, the opening ceremony proved to be something of a watershed in the fortunes of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Prior to that, the lead up to those Games had been riddled with concerns – transport, ticketing, security, costs, cynicism and just a general crisis of confidence – “can we do it?” or “what if we mess it up when the eyes of the world are on us?”.

Sounding familiar?

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Waving the flag


Before leaving Sydney, I had a conversation with a colleague about whether I considered Australia or England to be ‘home’. His point was that I had spent so long in Sydney, that surely I must call Australia home by now.

But then he spoilt his argument by saying that his own acid test was who I supported in the Ashes and he assumed by now I was right behind Clarkey and his team of bad losers. Sorry Geoffrey, game over, argument lost and where did I put those plane tickets?

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