Australians march in to AC/DC

AC/DC’s Back in Black is hardly a marching tune, but it just seemed to fit when Australia’s head banging athletes strode into Celtic Park to the rousing anthem as the Commonwealth Games officially got underway.


Anna Meares led the Australian contingent of around 375 athletes and officials into the home of Celtic Football Club to a welcoming ovation from the 40,00 crowd as loud as any AC/DC number.

And in case they needed any more pumping up for the Games opening ceremony, the raucous entrance tune lifted the Australians even higher.

“Just before we went into the stadium I turned around and did the `Aussie, Aussie, Aussie,’ chant and the whole team followed along,” Meares said.

“That was incredible.

“Standing there, waiting to walk in and then being welcomed in hearing AC/DC, the vibe in there was just electric.

“So happy, so colourful – lots of Aussie flags and boxing kangaroos around the place as well, I can’t stop smiling.”

Their wintry green rain jackets were an unnecessary accessory on a balmy Glasgow evening at the end of the city’s hottest day of the year.

Strolling behind Meares and the flag, the massive Australian team spread out along the multi-coloured track, holding up the traffic as they stopped for the obligatory selfie and paused to take in the atmosphere, while marching wasn’t good enough for some who walked on their hands.

They took out their cameras again when swimming great Ian Thorpe walked past them as he carried the Commonwealth Games Federation flag around the stadium.

But they also joined in a sombre moment as the stadium rose for a minute’s silence to honour the 28 Australians and other victims of the MH17 plane disaster, more than 100 of whom were from Commonwealth countries.

Meares was whisked back to the athletes village shortly after leading the team to their place in the infield, to prepare for her 500m time trial on Thursday morning.

And how else would a champion cyclist have travelled to and from the stadium?

“My coach and team manager met me outside the stadium with my bike and I rolled down the hill to here – save the legs for tomorrow,” she said.

“I rode up to the stadium and rode home from the stadium.”