If you’re wondering about how the announcing went… it started out a little rough and got better as the afternoon progressed. I was kind of nervous at first, just speaking into the mic and hearing my voice echo across the pool. The stands were pretty full and there were swimmers and officials all over the deck. I was sitting at a desk up in the stands. I welcomed everyone out and then I said, please stand for the playing of our national anthem.
And then it happened. Probably the most embarrassing thing possible. In my nervousness I didn’t even realize anything was wrong. I could hear my friend Vicki laughing from the pool deck and I had the sinking feeling she was laughing at me. The song played on. Then about 30 to 45 seconds into the song, Vicki walks out where I can see her and yells up to me, “Jeff that’s the American National anthem!” Could my face be any more red?
Apparently when queuing the music I rewound the tape on the wrong side. Now the decision had to be made, do I just play the rest of the song out and have the Canadian National Anthem play after, or do I stop it now and fast forward to the next song? I elected to stop the tape and just announce my mistake, “Oops, that was the American Anthem”. The people of laughed politely at my blunder but I was more worried that the meet would get started late because of my fumbling around with the tape player.
There I was trying to find the Canadian National Anthem on the tape meanwhile everyone else was just standing there, waiting for the music to play. Finally I realized I needed to flip the tape over and rewind it, and once that was on its way I used the moment to announce some of the money winners from the races yesterday.
I have to say, it was really embarrassing but things did pick up after that. I slaughtered quite a few names but by the end of the meet while I was still butchering their names, however, I just did it confidently and quickly so that most people probably didn’t notice hopefully didn’t care.
I’m glad I went; I had a good time. I’ll be doing the announcing for the finals again today.