Today is the day New Zealand was waiting for such a long time. The Rugby World Cup 2011 will finally begin. Since Rugby is the national sport of NZ, the whole country was striving long for this event and how the “All Blacks” will perform.
Apparently it is the third biggest sports event in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA Football world cup, but to be honest that sounds a little bit like “the biggest something in the Southern Hemisphere” to me. Anyway, it is going to be a big event for sure and the country seems quite well prepared for it.
One of the new installations is the Auckland Cloud that will function as some kind of Party Central. The temporary tent-like building can host around 7800 people and cost around 10 Million New Zealand Dollars, not bad for a tent.
Today Auckland will see an opening ceremony at the wharf with the reception of traditional Maori Boats called Wakas and then there will be a huge Haka (Maori War Dance) performed by over 600 people. Sounds like something worthwhile watching. Apparently they expect around 60.000 People for that, I am going to be one of them although I usually hate such big assemblies of people.
Before the opening game between the All Blacks and Tonga kicks off at 8pm Auckland will see the biggest firework since the Millennium, which I am already excited about in hope to snatch a few good shots.
So then, the next 6 weeks will be under the sign of the Rugby World Cup. Let’s see what face of New Zealand we are going to see. I remember the FIFA World Cup 2006 that put a cheering face on Germany we haven’t seen before. Let’s see how the Kiwis will deal with their self inflicted 6 weeks of sportive anarchy. At least they got their slogan right: “The world’s here to play”, and they certainly will.