Hey everyone So that’s it the party’s over and Glasgow is no longer commonwealth city having passed the commonwealth flag on to the next host city the exotically named Gold Cost in Queensland Australia which will welcome the world to compete in the sport and friendship in 2018.
The last 11 days have been a festival of sport at the very highest level and yes there have been high’s and low’s along the road. One of the undisputed high’s has that Scotland has gained medal success beyond our wildest dreams. Or at least it has according to the press.
I however take a slightly different view and I’m probably one of the few Scots who will even privately admit that I had set Team Scotland a target of 50 medals before the games started. This was far higher than the rather unambitious target of 34 only one higher than our previous best target of 33 achieved at our last home games in Edinburgh in 1986. In that games we only won 3 gold medals this time we won 19 in our all time record haul. This meant we in the year of our independence referendum smashed two previous records. Not only did we easily beat our previous best overall total we also obliterated our record of gold medals cruising past the previous best tally of 11 set in Melbourne in 2002.
My highlights included great first day for judo sister Kim and Louise Renwicks and swimmers Ross Murdoch and the lovely Hannah Miley. I cheered every Scottish medal of all colours like the ranting madwoman I know I was born to be but I have to be honest and say my favourite medal moment was a not a silver one instead it was a silver and it was won by Lynsey Sharp.
This to me summed up the spirit of what the games are all about. Lynsey came out of her sick bed to win an unexpected silver as she left top class athletes from Kenya and England amongst others trailing in her wake. Make no mistake Scotland loves our underdogs and Lynsey provided the classic fairytale moment of the games.
I was also glad to see our poster girl Eilidh Child gain a well deserved silver medal in the 400 metres hurdles. I especially liked the fact that Eilidh a lifelong. Hearts fan got a wee bit mischievous during her celebration as she reminded Hibs fans of the score in a certain Scottish Cup Final.
Talking of mischievous moments I really enjoyed Usian Bolt’s jig to the Proclaimers 500 miles. I also loved the fact he danced his way past all other athletes on the final leg of the men’s 4 X 100 metres helping the Jamaica team to gold medal glory. To see Usian celebrating and openly enjoying himself must have been particularly sickening for the Guardian journalist who tried to say that Mr Bolt had said Glasgow was shit and London was better.
Personally I don’t believe Bolt made these remarks as they had all the cringeworthy attributes of a badly written press release from amateurish if ironically named better together campaign whose sole objective in life is destroy Scotland’s self confidence as we seek to gain independence from Westminster and their beloved expenses express. Anyway I loved the idea of Usian Bolt singing in the rain and I don’t care if it upset a few self important unionists with more money than sense or talent.
Political point made, I wouldn’t be Scottish let alone Glaswegian if I didn’t chuckle at the interview of Scotland’s own gold medal Boxer Charlie Flynn. This to me is the best sporting interview I think I’ve ever seen as Flynn spoke in broad West of Scotland and baffled the BBC broadcasters. This was priceless comedy gold and I absolutely loved it. I particularly liked the fact that he created his own slogan the mailman delivers. This headline is due to the fact that he works in a royal mail sorting office which with Charlie in it would I suggest never be the quietest of places.
Looking at the games from a more global perspective I was delighted for those stars who have had made their name in Glasgow 2014 or indeed cemented their reputations as genuine stars of their sports.
Names like young English swimmers such as Siobhan Marie O’Connor, Adam Peaty, and the brilliant and ever likeable Fran Halsall and the promising young gymnast Niall Wilson. All of these athletes are at the beginning of what will surely be long and illustrious sporting careers, but had their first real success in Glasgow Add to that list some more established stars such as champion diver Tom Daley, athletes such as Jamaica’s sprinting superstar Veronica Campbell Brown, Kenya’s David Rhudesia, Botswana’s Nigel Amos, the brilliant Australian hurdler Sally Pearson, her country woman and cycling great Anna Mears, all contributed greatly to making the games an event to remember.
So as the curtain comes down on Glasgow it is I think fair to say that these games have exceeded expectations both for Scotland and for sporting excellence. However in a city often unfairly maligned by the press and media, it was the warmth and friendliness of the local population which won the hearts of our visiting competitors. I know this to be true because on Saturday morning in a wet and windy Parkhead I spoke to two runners from Papua New Guinea and a table tennis player from Zambia and they said that the people of Glasgow had been very kind and helpful to them. This I must admit had been a major concern of mine as I was worried that one wee ned could spoil the party for everyone but I am proud and relieved to say it never happened, and that the friendly games lived up to their reputation in the friendliest city of all. So to me the success of the games is not reflected in how many medals were won it had I think much more to do when Glasgow welcomed the world we did it the only way we know how to with a great big party and now as our guests collect their coats and start their journeys home they leave with smiles, handshakes, hugs, and a message haste ye back good friends. So now as you take your leave of our city I hope you will always cherish the memories, medals, and mischievous moments which made Glasgow 2014 the best Commonwealth Games and thought of leaving had Kylie spinning around.
Love And Best Wishes