The Cup was won and the hangover is now gone
This post is really an acknowledgment to one of the most exciting periods in mine as well as South Africa’s history, the 2010 World Cup. This was for me one of the most exciting times to be a South African and the pride that abounded in this country was amazing.
It felt, for me anyway, that if we had managed to get any prouder we may have experienced periods of mass spontaneous combustion. Political will was unified and the people of South Africa were, dare I say it, even more unified than during the 1994 elections. There was, for a period of four weeks anyway, no race, colour or creed, we were simply just South Africans.
As one of the initial naysayers, I was humbled as I saw the progress being made. I was amazed to see all of the work happening and being completed……on time no less! I quickly had to change my spots, for fear of being seen as not truly South Africa. I will add that I supported the bid, I simply did not approve of the location of the Cape Town stadium initially.
It would be remiss of me not to talk about my personal experiences of the World Cup. I had a blast……I really enjoyed every moment of it. I owe a lot to two really good friends who “educated” me about football leading up to the kick-off. For the purposes of this post I will simply refer to them as “Dexter” and “Shrek”.
Dexter was the catalyst in all of this, his generosity saw to it that I got to experience two games first hand. We saw France vs. Uruguay and Spain vs. Portugal. Both experiences were completely amazing, being in the crowds, blowing our Vuvzelas, wearing face paint and generally having a blast.
Dexter’s knack for planning never let us down….We arrived at the FRA v URU game six hours before kick-off. Needless to say we had a great time during the build up, watching Bafana, then waltzing over to the stadium to catch the live game.
Shrek was the muscle, ensuring that we did not fall foul of the law and certainly did not need any other protection. At times he omitted to include us in the catering arrangements, but aside from that, well you couldn’t have asked for a better friend.
Not only did we see two games live but we, like many other South Africans, watched copious amounts of soccer on television. We adopted teams, took some bets and generally dove right in. My passion for this country grew several fold.
So this post may be late, but it is my attempt at ensuring that the memories don’t simply fade away. We chased a dream, to host one of the biggest sporting spectaculars on the face of this earth. We achieved the dream when we were awarded the privilege of hosting the event. Our successful hosting of the World Cup means that we have created new dreams. Our children will have the luxury of dreaming bigger dreams as a result of this event.
We have many things to be proud of in our recent history and this is going to be one of those that we will hold onto forever. Viva South Africa Viva!