El Segundo High School

Let the Games begin — World Games Opening Ceremony

On the evening of July 25, as 7,000 athletes from around the world entered the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it was a magical moment: the Parade of Nations made its way into the Coliseum, showcasing the athletes from each nation with a red carpet. Not to mention, each country rolled in with pride and happiness, ready to make memories. Since the Olympics began in Greece, the first country to come in was Greece, followed by Afghani, Albania, Iraq, Ireland…. it took over an hour for all of the countries to enter.  I was mostly excited to see Macedonia and Barbados come in because of the amount of time I had spent with them at our Host Town in the past few days. So, when I saw them, I was overjoyed

All of the athletes looked so happy. They look euphoric. They looked as though they felt that nothing in the world could ever stop them from achieving their goals. And this assumption remains correct. The athletes are achieving so highly, and will continue to. The athletes are mentors to the rest of the world.

Everyone was excited for the Flame of Hope to be lit.  The torch had travelled since May from Athens, Greece, and made its way across towns throughout America.  As Jimmy Kimmel said, it really will go on forever since “we don’t have to water to put it out.”

Many well-known people attended the ceremony. But, perhaps the most exciting of them all (at least for me) was First Lady Michelle Obama. She is such an inspiring and amazing woman; she empowers not just America, but the world. With joy and pride in her eyes, she said, “My husband and I, we are so proud of you, so incredibly proud of you, and we love you all from the bottom of our hearts.”

The athletes and fans were treated to a show they will never forget. Followed by the First Lady’s speech, Stevie Wonder came onto the stage. He told the athletes that they are the ones making a difference, and making the world better. He then sang the song “Feat can’t put dreams to sleep”; it was beautiful. The amazing Avril Lavigne took the stage to perform her song which she dedicated to the World Games “Fly.”  It was such a treat to hear her voice soar across the night with a harmony of support for the athletes.  The official anthem of the Games this year is “Reach Up LA”, and it can be motioned by throwing your hands up into the air! It was written by Siedah Garret.

Such an amazing event, such amazing people, and positive energy filled the evening with love and inclusion. I am proud to watch the athletes pursue their dreams. They are inspirations to me by showing hard work is worth it.  Reach Up LA.  Reach up and let the World Games begin!

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