Tales from Korea #3

Sorry it’s been a couple of days since my last update. A combination of lack of internet, moving from the Host Town to Alpensia (where we shall now remain) and an epic opening ceremony have resulted in no blog for a while – sorry!

The opening ceremony was of epic proportions; five hours of magical technicolor, oriental flair and storytelling and some mesmerising choreography (and yes Gangnam Style did feature!). Here’s a few pics…

P1040297  P1040259


It all started with the athletes parade and while I felt a bit of a phony walking out with the team (it was their moment), I was truly honoured and it was an experience I will never ever forget. I shot this video of the team walking out; apologies for the poor filming…

This is going to sound really cheesy but the arena was full of so much love and joy; high fives were in abundance, big smiles all around, laughter, cheers and cuddles – I have never seen anything like it. I’m sure all of you back home are aware of the sheer breadth of Special Olympics across the globe, but it’s only when you attend a World Games that you see how huge they actually are. Special Olympics are surely the world’s biggest (and best) kept secret – how something so international, diverse, multi-cultural, inspiring, heart-warming and downright cool can happen with almost zero media coverage is unbelievable.

Candy gave us all some SOGB pin badges which we could use to swap with other teams to build a collection and pin on our credentials passes.  It’s a bit of a Special Olympics tradition and the team (and myself) had great fun approaching the other teams to swap badges. It was like being back in the school playground with footy stickers! I also set up my own little challenge, to get as many photos of other Special Olympics’ emblems as I could during the course of the ceremony. I didn’t do too badly did I?

See you soon!



P1040228 P1040206 P1040204 P1040203P1040201 P1040182 P1040181 P1040179P1040178 P1040177 P1040175 P1040168P1040163 P1040160 P1040128 P1040127P1040125 P1040122 P1040115 P1040118P1040079 P1040076 P1040071 P1040070P1040067  P1040065 IMG_1528P1040307P1040066

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10 Responses to Tales from Korea #3

  1. Maureen Cottrell says:

    So excited for everyone. What a marvellous experience. Makes us relive our 2009 trip to Boise USA for the games which was so wonderful too! Kind regards to you all and good luck and best wishes
    William and the whole Cottrell family xxx

  2. Steve Ratheram says:

    My wife and I watched in amazement at all the unity, love, happiness and overall well-being throughout the entire opening ceremony. Clare Lines you made us smile fantastic, I was surprised at the size of our team compared to some of the other countries.

  3. The Coulons says:

    Thank you, Rob, for giving us a marvelous glimpse into this wonderful event! We are in the UK following your experiences and enthusiastically cheering you forward. Best wishes to everyone there.
    Denis, Carol, and Anthony Coulon

  4. John (as in candiaand) says:


  5. I love the way you explained Special Olympics! Makes me feel tremendously proud to be a small part of it. Best of luck to the SOGB team!! Lee Gillespie-White, VP & Assistant General Counsel, Special Olympics International.

  6. Kate Whitehead (Jane's sister) says:

    Really enjoying the updates, thank you so much! Thinking of you lots. You look like you are definitely having a trip of a lifetime already! Love, Kate x

  7. robp27 says:

    Thank you for the lovely comments people – keep them coming! The team are in divisioning today so will update you once they start the competition stages proper.


  8. robp27 says:

    Wayne is here and in good form Steve as you will see from the first post.

  9. Janice Stewart says:

    Great to see Luke Purdie’s picture! We’re all cheering him on here in Aberdeen. really good blog and agree, would love more media coverage of such a superb event. Janice Stewart

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