EVERY Games has “the moment”, that unscripted piece of magical sporting theatre.
Bronte Campbell’s lunge to the wall to beat sister Cate in the 100m freestyle final had everyone in the stands and at home in their lounge rooms on their feet.
Poolside later, Cate was full of praise for her sister, who has been dogged by injuries and was never the favourite for the event.
What will be older sister’s response? “It is never easy being the second Campbell and she is number one now and I am thrilled for her,” Cate says.
She had earlier fired up all Australian athletes on the Queen’s Baton relay run to Surfers.
“The rest of the world has come to our turf — let’s show them what we can do,” she said.
In the pool, 17-year-old Ariarne Titmus was winning gold in races across every distance and Mitch Larkin trumped Ian Thorpe’s men’s record. Both became instant sporting celebrities.
Who will forget the mighty New Zealand netball team being crushed by minnows Malawi 57-53 in the Games’ biggest upset?
The emotion among the African girls as they hugged each other on the court, the wild scenes in the stands at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
This was an Everest reach for an underdog and shocking fall for the unbeatable Silver Ferns.
Then there is the slow climb by Skye Nicholson, who works out at Yatala boxing gym. On the wall is the face of brother Jamie, 24, who died in a car crash in 1994, before she was born.
A southpaw like her Olympian brother, driven by emotion Skye fights closer towards medal contention. Beside her is Jamie in spirit, and her other late brother Gavin, always in her corner.
In the 10,000 women’s race, Australia’s trio Eloise Wellings, Madeline Hills and Celia Sullohern finished unplaced. They were exhausted but waited.
Lineo Chaka from Lesotho was yet to finish, more than five minutes behind the winner, and three minutes behind the runner in front of her.
The Australian girls walked across and put their arms around her. Sportsmanship in spades.
“We’re there for each other and we’re all out there having a go. It was lovely to stand there and show what I hope was a bit of Aussie sportsmanship,” Sullohern said.
Much like the crowd, embracing the inclusion of disabled athletes in the sports schedule for the first time.
The timing could not be better for three-time Paralympic gold medallist Kurt Fearnley, after a gutsy silver in his final 1500m race. We all waited for his words.
“Inclusion’s working, we’re nailing this,” he said.
“I’ve been put in this position of privilege over the past week that I would never have imagined being in.
“Let’s have that same conversation about what is happening here (on the Gold Coast) at home about our education facilities, about our transport, about employment.”
This was a major sporting first, the legacy more than a medal. Gold Coast should be proud.
Aussie Mitch Larkin has five swimming gold medals in his suitcase.
Ariarne Titmus, of Australia, wins the women’s 400m freestyle final at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
Wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley ended his stellar career with second place in the men's T54 1500m final.
Henry Frayne on his way to long jump silver.
Dane Bird-Smith won the men's 20km race walk.