World Finals – Day One

The team safely arrived in Marrakech on Sunday. Exhausted, from the lengthy, overnight flight and the three hour layover in Casablanca. One piece of luggage unfortunately did not make it, for unknown reasons, but the airline was able to locate the missing suitcase and we got it at the hotel by the next morning. To top it off, there is a five hour timezone change to adjust to as well.

Monday started with a series of technology presentations by IBM, the contest sponsor. IBM is the sole contest sponsor, and that means they spend a lot of money, so it seems to be their prerogative to sell IBM as a cool place to work to these students from all over the world. The presentations were interesting, but it was more than two hours without a break, so it was tiring. After lunch the team had some free time so we availed ourselves of the boardgames in the hotel lounge. We played (and lost) a game of Pandemic.

Next came the ICPC Opening Ceremonies. In the opening ceremonies they announce that the World Finals is officially begun, but only after a long series of honorary awards and introductions by dignitaries.

Here the team sits at the Open Ceremonies.

Here the team sits at the Open Ceremonies.

After the Opening Ceremonies, they bussed everyone (700+ people) to the Chez Ali restaurant and entertainment complex where they fed us and entertained us with a rodeo-like show. There was music, horseback riding, dancing, and fireworks.