I went to the soccer last night. It was fantastic. I am so glad I was there. I made a vow after the Sydney Olympics that I would go to world class sport if it was ever in Sydney. Almost immediately, I got pregnant, and changed focus. But it’s reminded me why it was worth while. I think being a woman I was more outnumbered than I would have been supporting Uraguay (and that’s saying something!), but I loved every minute of it.
The experience of having a stadium of 80,000 people singing their national anthem with their hearts on their sleeves.
The experience of being one of a crowd that was invested in every half chance, that rose as one when a goal got close, that turned to the stranger next to them when we scored the goal that gave us hope, and started chanting and singing whenever our team looked like flagging.
It was one of those games that in 10 years time, 800,000 people will be earnestly telling their friends they were there. I was lucky enough to be one of the people in the crowd when Cathy Freeman won her gold medal. This was just as good.
Last time Australia made the World Cup football final was 1974. Since then, we’ve had heart break after heart break, the worst in my personal memory being 1997 against Iran, where we looked a shoo-in at two goals up with half a match to go, and then Iran scored two goals against us to win on the away goal rule.
Now we’re there again!