Here Giac reporting from Olomouc, Czech Republic:
WUOC 2014 has really begun tonight after the official Opening Ceremony in the city Center. There was no traditional parading across the streets here this time, and formalities started with all the teams seated in the internal courtyard of one of the university central buildings once a military complex. Instead all the teams paraded on and off the stage, saluting the crowd as they passed the spotlight of an otherwise dark quad. Only soft and intermittent rain-showers tonight, but the organizers were ready to provide small plastic ponchos for everyone, red, white and blue like the colors of the home team. Our Japanese friends and neighbors made mock white and red poke-balls out of the containers, amusing everyone in sight. There was a local choir singing the Czech anthem, and also the anthem (in latin) of the FISU, the international federation in charge of all university sports. Before the ceremonial and important promises of fair-play, fairness and sportsmanship by athletes and judges, the local dance company performed a small show centered on red-dressed girls dancing around macho soldiers. Our cadets on the team have very similar gear in their suitcases, ready for use. Could they have danced even smoother? The best part of it all though, was a short light show on the side of the building, using the windows and facade details as backgrounds to a orienteering-themed game of lights and colors. Home-made medals were celebrated and previewed, unique pieces made by a local Winter Olympic Medalist apparently also very talented in molding metals. The medals have contours and a compass-needle, the perfect design for honoring the winner this week.
Things are ready here in Olomouc, and tomorrow the fight for the medals begins.
Good luck to Team USA's Sprint Relay Team competing in the afternoon!