It was Carnival in August as the Commonwealth Youth Games began with much fanfare at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on Friday.
The Games welcomed athletes, fans, and supporters from 70 countries that will compete in seven sports- namely athletics, cycling, triathlon, beach volleyball, rugby, netball and swimming.
Cycling, swimming Athletics and Para-athletics will take place in Trinidad while Beach Volleyball, rugby (sevens, triathlon and netball (Fast 5) will take place in the sister isle of Tobago and will run until August 11.
At the opening ceremony at the Mucurapo venue, a noisy rhythm section, parading masqueraders and swaying moko jumbies had set the tone for what to expect the inside, where Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and other government ministers, including Minister of Sports and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, and Minister of Education Nyan Gadsby Dolly, among many others dignitaries had taken a centre seat.
However, it was the parade of 70 nations that made the trek on the track in front of the covered area that created the loudest cheers. These cheers later turned to a crescendo when the announcement of the T&T team came, as the large contingent of athletes responded by dancing to the soca song of Nya George's 'Trinidad.'
In the stands, waving flags and arms acknowledged their presence, but it also came with embracing arms to many nations never seen or heard of before in the twin-island Republic, in the area of sports.
Teams such as Rwanda, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Singapore, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Malaysia, Kenya, and Malawi among many other countries to will have athletes performing in front of local fans.
President of the Commonwealth Games Dame Louise Martin described the ceremony as one of the best she has ever seen. She said the event will unite the Commonwealth region for this period and asked all to enjoy the competition as they give their best.
Following yesterday's opening ceremony, action will begin at 9 am this morning with the Individual Time Trial using a route around the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
The young riders will be required to compete on a 10-kilometre route while the boys will be asked to contest a 15k distance.
Meanwhile, at the UCI World Cycling Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, sprinters Nicholas Paul and Kwesi Browne will contest the flying 200-metre sprint, for a chance to qualify for the match sprint event later.
The local riders will be using this event to gain much-needed points ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris, France next year.