Mexico is known for its many gifts to the world such as The Estadio Azteca, mariachi bands, tequila, and most recently the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 edition of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games hosted in Veracruz, a forty minute flight south east of the capital Mexico City.
The night was nothing short of a traditional fiesta with a carnival like atmosphere that welcomed all the participating teams. However, although Trinidad and Tobago lead by Flag Barer, Table Tennis veteran Dexter St. Louis, was not able to be represented by its full 208 contingency, the two dozen representatives (mainly made up of the Men’s Hockey Team) were always seen in the heart of the celebrations.
The Ceremony began with the traditional parade of the representing teams (in alphabetical order) in which T&T was 29th, followed by Venezuela and finally, as it is tradition for the host country to be featured at the end, Mexico.
At the conclusion of the parade, the Governor of the State of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ocha welcomed all participating teams as they settled in their seats. Proud rhythmic chants of “Veracruz” echoed in derby-day style thought out the stadium as the City’s locals in attendance displayed their passion for their homeland.
Those in attendance were then treated to some traditional Mexican Jarocho performers as well as some other modern styles. However, the Traditional Mexican Heritage Pole Dance certainly stole the show, with death defying stunt men and women dangling more than 50 feet in the air while the pyrotechnic displays further awed the crowds; it certainly was not a sight for the faint hearted, but yet captivating for all.
Closing off the night was the Puerto Rican Pop Star Ricky Martin who performed his famous songs including “Living La Vida Loca” and “La Copa de La Vida”. The six time Grammy Award winner certainly showed he still had what it takes as athletes danced and mingled amongst each other crossing all borders to share “selfies” and exchange pleasantries to his rhythms.