A flash mob choir performance kicked off celebrations for 100 days to go to the UEFA Women's Champions League final in Cardiff and not even the rain could dampen the spirits.
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A warm welcome awaited the UEFA Women's Champions League trophy in the Welsh capital on Tuesday as Cardiff celebrated 100 days to the final and the launch of ticket sales in both dynamic and traditional style.
The event began in spectacular fashion as 100 members of the Cor Glanaethwy (North Wales Choir) charmed an unsuspecting audience at the Cardiff Central Library with a flash mob performance that engaged, surprised and set the scene for an event that truly encompassed the passion and excitement of the competition. A beautiful rendition of 'The Prayer' opened proceedings, as every floor of the Library stopped to embrace the moment, and naturally created a fitting welcome for the final.
Wales women's manager Jayne Ludlow, who lifted the predecessor UEFA Women's Cup with Arsenal in 2007, was in attendance as the official 2017 UEFA Women's Champions League final ambassador. She was joined by UEFA Women's Football Committee chairwoman Karen Espelund to present one lucky member of the public with the first ticket sold for the final that takes place at Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday 1 June.
As Ludlow and members of her Wales squad then spoke to the assembled press and media about the significant impact hosting such a prestigious event could have on women's football in Wales, young schoolchildren and girls' teams from the local area found themselves caught up in the atmosphere of an occasion that will only inspire so many future sporting dreams.
The choir continued with three further powerful renditions, each confirming Wales' status as the 'Land of Song', while a giant structural representation of the starball was unveiled in the city centre as a reference point to the excitement that the competition promises to produce. Even the persistent rain could not dampen the enthusiasm as crowds joined the choir for a second performance in the streets of the capital city.
Cardiff is a cosmopolitan city embracing the arrival of a truly global event and the anticipation of hosting the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League finals in June became very real on Wednesday. Cardiff is a city with strong sporting heritage and welcoming the best of the best will surely leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.