Yesterday evening there was a fantastic opening to the Commonwealth Games. I found the presentation original, colourful and highly entertaining. The thematic scenery featured images of Glasgow and Scotland, and the music, singing and dancing had a Scottish flavour. Everything was vibrant. There was an enormous screen along one side of the stadium that was used to good effect to project realistic and beautiful abstract images.
There were two, interlocking themes: Welcome to Glasgow, and Put Children First. The latter was focussed on children in need within the Commonwealth. Instead of being forgotten at the bottom of the pile, they were to be put first by raising money for them through an instant appeal to TV viewers all over the world. Viewers at home and spectators at the stadium were encouraged to donate £5 by texting ‘FIRST’ to 70333. This was to be an instant, coordinated attempt at raising millions of pounds for improving the lot of poor and vulnerable children. The whole fundraising project was organised in conjunction with UNICEF. At the present time 3.1 million pounds have been raised.
The Queen and Prince Philip arrived in style in their sumptuous Rolls Royce. Amid tumultuous applause they proceeded to the royal enclosure with Prince Imran of Malaysia, President of the Games. It was his task to deliver an introductory speech before the official opening of the Games by the Queen. After an accomplished and eloquent delivery, he tried to prise the lid from the Queen’s baton to remove a copy of the Her Majesty’s speech that had travelled within the baton to 71 competing nations. At first the lid would not budge. Sir Chris Hoy gave a hand, but to no effect; finally, to the cheers and relief of all, the lid was opened by the Prince and the scroll was passed to the Queen.
I had expected to be bored with the long parade of competitors, but they were dressed in national costumes or distinctive attires, and they showed their joy and pride as they paraded before the assembly. Instead of being bored I was fascinated by the jubilations. At the end of the ceremony there was an extremely noisy, colourful and lively firework display to provide a fitting ending to the evening.
P.S. I am disappointed to discover that there will be no rowing or sailing at these Games. They are not designated as ‘core’ sports; therefore they can only be included at the discretion of a host city.
Commonwealth Games Federation
Glasgow Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
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