IMO 2014 (III)-Ice Breaker

Date: 7/7/14

Still remember the temperature troll the day before? Yup. Mr. thermometer showed its valley point at 1 C. This lead us to the hot option for breakfast, except Zi Song, whose diet was relatively unique compared to us.


Today we were free for the entire day until the Opening Ceremony scheduled at 5pm. Knowing the size of UCT campus, Mojalefa decided to bring us for a campus tour in the morning.


UCT campuses were named after their relative positions, (Upper Campus, Middle Campus, and Lower Campus). We spent a significant proportion of the time in Upper Campus, which contained the Sports Hall and Jameson Hall, since they functioned as competition and ceremony venues respectively.

The battle field (credits to Justin)
The battle field (credits to Justin)
Photos - Opening Ceremony-2
Centre of opening and closing of IMO

However, the best part was non other than the visit of a statue (I forgot about the name, but I conjectured as a man who was renowned for his contribution to UCT), after millions of effort in climbing hills with intricate muddy roads. Not only the statue served as a point of attraction, the view of bay from that altitude was also fantastic!

From the top
Standing in front of statue
Standing in front of statue
Imitating the great man
Imitating the eminent man


The meaningful half day was gone when we were on our way for return. By the time, the Sun was hanging high on top of us and the temperature stroke 12 C, which signaled that our jackets should be off.

07 Jul-In front of campus
On the way home

(Note: The following pictures were from IMO 2014’s account on Google+ )

There were few hours of idle time before our ceremony, where our team was scheduled to be the 79th team in team parade. “South Africa is #59, which comes the last among the first badge of teams going onto the stage”, Mojalefa added. Not only the order showed discrepancy from the 2 previous years’ sequence as alphabetical order, but South African’s being the final team for first round alluded some unique element in it.

Again, the South African showed their genial attitude: this time not by words, but though music.

Preparing for performance
Preparing for performance

At 5pm (scheduled time), all of us were properly seated. Since leaders had decided on the contest problems prior to the ceremony, they were separated from the rest of us. From our seats, we could see leaders waving hands to contestants, as if they had been separated for years. It took us some effort to spot Mr. Suhaimi, though.

The "quarantined" VIPs
The “quarantined” VIPs
Believe me or not, this was projected onto the ceiling.
Believe me or not, this was projected onto the ceiling.
Master of Ceremony
Master of Ceremony

The mystery of order was answered shortly after the start of the ceremony: the sorting was by the first participation in IMO. In particular, Romania, which hosted the first IMO in 1959 were the first to do their ice breaking to the rest of us. The presentations of most of the teams (including Malaysia) were generally smiling, or waving hello, except one of the teams which stood out among others by taking live selfie on the stage.

Team Malaysia. Leftmost: Mojalefa; rightmost: Mr. Iqbal
Team Malaysia. Leftmost: Mojalefa; rightmost: Mr. Iqbal

It’s the parade of the home delegation which was unprecedented–the “Coronation Parade” began just after the announcement of the team, with band accompanying the “Team of the Day”. It left us exclaimed with mouth opened, but nevertheless earned thunderous applause from us.

Photos - Opening Ceremony-170

Thus, it suffices to explain how the schedule ran: a series of performance by ZipZap Circus School after that would be at the right timing to decorate the ceremony beautifully.

Photos - Opening Ceremony-204

Not forgetting some drama show after the parade:

Photos - Opening Ceremony-220

Here came the end of the ceremony, or in other words, few steps nearer to contest. An oath session was vital for ensuring the good decorum of participants (especially contestants), and we witnessed the rise of IMO flag which symbolized the official begin of this IMO. We were then allowed to leave after the departure of juries. But first, let’s take a bigger group photo!

Photos - Opening Ceremony-275

We were rather late for dinner on that day, but sleeping time was invariant: at 10pm my pseudo-alarm clock in my head reminded me for sleep, since we would be facing the ultimate challenge over the next two days. Have a deep slumber, and good luck to the Malaysian team!

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