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Canadians kick up their heels at Commonwealth Games welcoming ceremony


GOLD COAST, Australia — A beach party broke out Monday as the Maple Leaf was raised at the athletes villages at the Commonwealth Games.

The welcoming ceremony for the Canadian team started with the four-man Mununjali aboriginal dance troupe, whose performance told the history of the Gold Coast. Then there were a few pithy welcoming speeches, a Canadian athlete was daubed with ochre — an earthy clay pigment — on the back of his hand as a token of respect and the Canadian flag was hoisted to the sounds of "O Canada."

"It was wonderful to watch the Canadian flag rise," Canadian chef de mission Claire Carver-Dias told the watching athletes and officials. "We hope to see that flag rising more than 100 times at these games."

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