Olympic Ticker-tape Parade

Hamilton Island State School Students enjoy the thrill of leading the Australian Olympic Sailing Team to their ticketape parade

Hamilton Island State School students enjoy the thrill of leading the Australian Olympians to their ticker-tape parade (Photo: Jenni Shah)

When you live in a small community you can miss out on some of the things our big city cousins have access to. On the other hand, some opportunities can present itself in quite unique ways.

Hamilton Island has a long relationship with the Australian Olympic Sailing team. So what better way to celebrate a swag of medals than to have the team up to the island and treat them to our own ticker-tape parade.

A heroes welcome

A Heroes Welcome (photo: Jenni Shah)

Hamilton Island State School started the Olympic day with a visit from Olympic Equestrian Lyndal Oately, who was the best performing Australian dressage rider at London 2012. She shared stories with the kids of trading commemorative pins and the finer points of ‘horse dancing’.

Later in the day some of the Olympic sailing team arrived to show their medals to the kids and answer their questions. These included some great questions on London, the Games preparation and competition. There was also a well answered question fielded by Iain Jenson – when asked by one of our Prep students “How do you sail?”, he deftly answered, after a pause, “You have a sail, and it catches the breeze, and it makes the boat go fast”. A perfect summary!

A huge crowd turned up to celebrate our Olympic stars (Photo: Jenni Shah)

A huge crowd turned up to celebrate our Olympic stars (Photo: Jenni Shah)

The highlight for everyone was the ticker-tape parade around the marina. Lead by the school students, the sailors rode in Audi convertibles and close to a thousand residents, visiting yatchies and hotel guests cheered them on towards the Marina Tavern. Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke, himself an Olympic sailor, welcomed them onstage to deafening cries of ‘Ozzie, ozzie, ozzie’. It was a fantastic celebration of a very successful Olympic campaign.