Olympics 2012: The march of nations

I am watching the Opening Ceremony. I may or may not have more to say on that another time, but just now the athletes are marching out.

They march out, some in their hundreds, others in just a handful. Three or four marched as independents, one of whom hails from this world’s newest country of South Sudan (which is so new it hasn’t organised an Olympic Committee yet). They march out, many different and differing faces, the whole range of humanity. They come from the farthest north, they come from the utter south. They come from the largest and most settled nations on earth, and yet even the smallest and most troubled also send their sons and daughters. The walk and form a human current, a human stream of the great human sea.

It is marvellous to see.

When you watch the nations march, you get a sense of just how large this world is, just how varied our we who inhabit it.

On just about every face there is a wide smile – though some of the flag-bearers appear to be understandably nervous. One can nevertheless feel the joy through a television screen, the energy is infectious.

I started typing this when Portugal entered the area, South Africa just has been announced, and still they come. What a glorious world we live in.

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