In two weeks’ time the Commonwealth Games kick off in my home town, Melbourne. 13 days to go, but who’s counting?
This is a big deal for us Gardiners.
My father is an athlete. Actually he’s a legend. He won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, went to the Tokyo and Mexico Olympics – and turns 70 in the middle of the Games in March. Still competes, too.
Yesterday he carried the Queen’s Baton (the Commonwealth version of the Olympic torch – which he also carried in 2000).
I wasn’t there yesterday, sadly, to cheer him on. When I was little I’d stand by the side of the track and shout, “Come on Daddy!”. I still do that if I watch him race, except now he laughs – which isn’t easy to do while race walking at full-pelt – and all his old mates murmur, “The kid must be here”.
But I will be there for the track and field once the Games begin, to cheer on the new generation.
Photo by Kathy Gardiner.