I was blessed to be at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland in 2003, and got to be in the same stadium – along with 80,000 other people – as two of my most beloved heroes, Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali, which was too wonderful for words.
I honestly can’t even describe my emotions when Ali appeared, it was like laying eyes on God, and as for Nelson Mandela’s appearance …. just beyond magical.
This is them meeting up in Dublin, one of the VERY great images:
Any way, the climax of the ceremony was hometown boys U2 doing their thing, and they played my all-time favorite song, ‘One’ (see the video above). So, by then, I was in need of oxygen, it was too perfect an evening.
(Although the real highlight was probably the families and friends of the Special Olympians booing the Irish Prime Minister when he strutted in to the stadium, expecting a hero’s welcome – despite having cut services for those with special needs. They made their voices heard, it was a joy).
Now? I reckon Bono is a hypocritical, tax-dodging, insufferable dick, whose ego is comically large ….. but I’ll still always love him for ‘One’.
The best ever version of the song? Probably this, with the incomparable Mary J Blige:
Chat on, night owls!