Dorney’s multi-coloured ‘Wall of Sound’

With 58 nations represented at Eton Dorney, it’s not surprising that there are so many different flags on display as supporters wear their own with pride around the venue.

Peter Cookson, High Performance Director of Rowing Canada, is here with his family – wife Tanneke and teenagers Nico, Teeka and Ellie.

Unfurling their national flag, signed by the entire Canadian team, the youngsters are thrilled to be at their first Olympics.

Teeka said, “We’ve been getting shouts from people saying ‘Hello Canada’ – it’s just so great and everyone’s been so welcoming.”

For 16-year-old Ellie, the “whole thing is so unbelievable. Being so young it’s great to be able to get to these events and good to support my dad. It’s great to see him getting so excited when he’s watching the crews!”

Older brother Nico is enjoying the whole vibe of the event. “Everyone’s been so friendly,” he said.

There’s no mistaking which country James Every-Hall is following. Resplendent in day-glo yellow and green, it’s the first overseas trip for the Australian who is supporting sister Hannah in the lightweight women’s double sculls.

With three older sisters, James is the youngest member of Team Every-Hall. “We’ll be losing our voices by the end of the event!” he said.

Impressed by the electric atmosphere at Eton Dorney – “it’s fantastic” – James is also full of praise for his fellow spectators and the volunteers.

“I can’t express how helpful everyone has been. We were on the bus the other day and didn’t know where to go and someone just jumped up and helped us.”

Hovering by the athletes’ entrance, wearing patriotic head bands and flags, Toyama Minoru and Hideki Wakasa are hoping to meet the Japanese crews who were racing earlier.

The former university rowers decided to book their flights from Tokyo after seeing the rowing team on national TV.

But although they like the venue they are not quite as impressed with the crowd’s ‘wall of noise’. “It’s louder in Japan,” they said.

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