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Cooks flag raised in India

Wednesday 29 September 2010 | Published in Regional

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Tears of pride rolled down the faces of Cook Islands athletes as the national flag was raised in a special ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s tradition for each arriving sporting team to have their nation’s flag raised, signalling to other teams they have taken up the challenge.

It was the event that really drove home to the team that they were in India – half a world away from our beautiful island home.

Upon arrival at the flag-raising venue within the Games Village, each athlete and official was welcomed with traditional Indian scarf – which complemented the head ei wearing team very well.

A ‘flag team’ ceremoniously marched the Cook Islands flag to the pole along with that of Brunei whose athletes had also arrived in the village on Tuesday.

Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) president Sir Geoffrey Henry and Team Cook Islands chef de mission George George joined the games mayor for the ceremony, in which the Cook Islands national anthem was sung with such passion that tears rolled from the eyes of athletes while photographers lapped up the scene.

After the flag was raised, a replica of the Queen’s Baton was presented to Sir Geoffrey who, along with George George, presented a replica model of a traditional Cook Islands drum or pate.

A stunning showcase of Indian culture followed with dramatic and eye opening dance and costume mesmerising onlookers.

The young Indian performers came from local schools in India and were more than thrilled to pose for photos with the team.

Unfortunately the lawn bowls could only stay for the official flag raising before taking to the Jawarhalal Stadium for their first roll up.

The boxers were committed to a boxing training schedule and missed the ceremony but they will, like the rest of the team, know that the flag is up meaning the war is on!

Stories, photos – page 12