I didn't see it coming, but the parade of nations at the Olympic Games opening ceremony here in London, England, turned out to be an emotional experience.
I was fighting back the tears as patriot Marc Burns carried the Trinidad and Tobago flag with pride at the Olympic Stadium, his confident sprinter's swagger reminding me of the yeoman service he has given on tracks in all corners of the globe.
I had seen Burns on his Olympic debut, in Sydney, Australia, back in 2000—a 17-year-old fledgling. Twelve years later, he was leading his team into battle, the 29-year-old track star wearing the colours and carrying the flag of a country he has represented and continues to represent with distinction.
Burns is appearing in his fourth Olympic Games. Four years ago, in Beijing, China, he enjoyed his brightest moment on the biggest global sporting stage, helping T&T earn silver in the men's 4x100 metres relay.
Parading behind Burns at the Olympic Stadium, his teammates also wore the national colours with pride. The Red, White and Black made a bold fashion statement, particularly on the outfits of the female team members, the flag clearly visible as they made their way round the track.
The Marc Burns moment was the highpoint for me on an entertaining opening night of the Games of the 30th Olympiad.
Songs associated with sport were highlighted at the ceremony, including the famous "Chariots of Fire" theme song. But this London Symphony Orchestra performance of the Vangelis classic was like no other.
A surprise appearance by comic actor Rowan Atkinson, known to the world as Mr Bean, was greatly appreciated by the massive crowd. A "member" of the orchestra for the occasion, Mr Bean's penchant for bad timing resulted in forced changes to the "Chariots of Fire" arrangement. He even dreamed about being in the movie, resulting in a brand new and quite disturbing version of the iconic beach training scene.
Atkinson certainly left his mark on the opening ceremony, and so did Burns.
Now, it's on to the serious business of Olympic competition.
For T&T, soldier Roger Daniel leads the way, the veteran shooter taking aim at precious metal in today's men's ten metres air pistol event. Like Burns, Daniel is a true patriot, devoted to the cause of the Red, White and Black.