For all the joy Mack Horton’s feats in the pool at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the Rio Olympics gave him, his experiences out of the water were just as memorable.
He knows that the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, running 4 to 15 April, will be the same. “That X-factor is massive, especially for me as an Australian competing at a home Commonwealth Games,” the Olympic 400-metre freestyle champion and RACV ambassador says. “You go to an Olympics or world championships, there’s a vibe, an excitement through the streets. Going to Gold Coast, that’s going to be a massive part of what we get to experience.”
And for Games fans planning ahead, RACV Royal Pines Resort has flexible accommodation options to suit everyone – even campervanners.
But Mack, 21, and his swimming teammates will have their jobs to do before joining the fun, unlike the estimated 670,000 visitors who are set to turn the volume up a few notches on a city that’s already famous for knowing how to party. Gold Coast Tourism spokesperson Dean Gould puts it simply: “It’ll be the most festive time in Gold Coast’s history.”
Dean points to a parallel program of activities and celebration that will make ‘Goldy’ the place to be even if you don’t have a ticket to a Games event. Festival 2018 will lead the charge – a free arts and cultural extravaganza of music, art installations, interactive and family-focused events running across the city. Its intersection with Bleach Festival – an annual Gold Coast celebration of pop-ups to please all artistic palettes – promises to have everyone dancing, singing and smiling on the streets.