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Are The Commonwealth Games No Longer Viable


LuigiVercotti

  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Has Delhi 2010's problems killed your interest in the CGs

    • Yes
      10
    • No
      19
  2. 2. Can Glasgow 2014 save the CGs?

    • Yes
      22
    • No
      7
  3. 3. Do you see a long term future for the CGs?

    • Yes
      18
    • No
      11


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still like the Commies. Its great to see Wales, Scotland, India and others do well, get exposure, get some decent competition. The scale is essentially up to the host, and this could work as well at a venue like Crystal Palace which would be packed.

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Indeed, I think the burden of a huge athletics stadium is one we're all well aware of. It's an awareness which led Manchester towards creating a reconfifurable stadium, London to creating a downsizeable stadium for 2012, Rio to seperate out ceremonies and athletics into different stadiums, and Glasgow to install a temporary track in a football stadium for athletics and use another football stadium for ceremonies. All sensible decisions based on what the city needs after their Games. Contrast this with Beijing and possibly Delhi which both engaged in Games of One-upmanship.

The first couple of days aside when attendance at nearly all venues was appauling, the venues in Delhi have been filling up not too badly as of late. The only big exception to this has been athletics.

I don't think a big Games are necessarily a bad thing, but the culture of trying to emulate the Olympics in scale and going big for the sake of going big is.

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In defence of India, if South Africa ever host an OG or CWG, the ticketing solution will need to include tons of free tickets and reduced ticket prices and even plans to get schookids or young sports people into venues, with sponsorship by companies.

You're not going to see many people for many Olympic sports if Durban hosts, perhaps in week 1 or for lesser known sports.

The timing in Durban would be good because June July is its domestic season boom.

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The reason cricket wasn't included was because the ICC wanted one cricket format, while Delhi wanted a different format. Also cricket in Malaysia was a logistical nightmare.

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Another reason I love the Commies. All sorts of new talent that might not make the Olympic Games or get much exposure at the Olympic Games but can bag a medal at the Commies.

Teen gymnast adds to country's medal tally

Inspired by Sydney Olympic Games

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Oct 10, 2010 12:00 AM | By BUYEKEZWA MAKWABE and BONGANI MTHETHWA

Jennifer Khwela expected to end up a domestic worker after school.

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702196_633103_1146275b.jpg MAKING US PROUD: Jennifer Khwela shows her silver medal Picture: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN/GALLO IMAGES

Instead, the diminutive 18-year-old gymnast from Umbilo in Durban this week vaulted herself to international stardom by winning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Today she flies to the 2010 Artistic Gymnastic World Championships in Rotterdam.

Khwela came up just .038 short of gold after being beaten by 2008 British Olympian Imogen Cairns in the women's vault final at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.

Khwela's mother, Queen Khwela, 37, said the whole family was proud. "I thank God for her and I am so happy. She is a very reliable child who triumphs over adversity," she said.

She also thanked Khwela's grandmother, Khethiwe Khwela, for helping to raise her daughter and coach Julie Adamson.

The talented youngster was discovered by gymnastics coach Gail Adamson (Julie's mother) in 2001.

Adamson yesterday called her protégé a genius. "She just learned faster and picked up everything faster than any of the other kids - in terms of gymnastics. She came to gym every day and just absorbed gymnastics," she said.

Adamson said Khwela went to a school for special educational needs and graduated at the highest level.

"They do not have matric at the school and finish at 16. She is now doing gymnastics full time, training 30-plus hours a week," she said.

Khwela is the senior national champion in Women's Artistic Gymnastics, the first black woman to win the title at the South African Gymnastic Games in Cape Town in 2008.

Khwela, who was inspired to start gymnastics after watching the 2000 Olympics, won gold in the finals of the vault and floor at the recent 10th African Gymnastics Championships in Walvis Bay in Namibia.

She became the first South African to win a gold medal at the International Gymnastics Federation Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series in Doha, Qatar, in March.

"If you ask Jennifer what the best thing about gymnastics is, she will tell you the travelling to different countries. This year alone it will be seven different countries that she has been to," Adamson said.

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In defence of India, if South Africa ever host an OG or CWG, the ticketing solution will need to include tons of free tickets and reduced ticket prices and even plans to get schookids or young sports people into venues, with sponsorship by companies.

You're not going to see many people for many Olympic sports if Durban hosts, perhaps in week 1 or for lesser known sports.

The timing in Durban would be good because June July is its domestic season boom.

But the Olympics also attract a larger international audience so you'd have visitors from Japan, the USA, Germany, Russia, China, France, Brazil and other non-Commonwealth biggies.

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But the Olympics also attract a larger international audience so you'd have visitors from Japan, the USA, Germany, Russia, China, France, Brazil and other non-Commonwealth biggies.

Yes but as we have seen from the last 3 games, internationals coming to see the games cannot be relied on. Athens had lots of international visitors but the stands were still sparse.

In saying that though. I expect empty venues in London and every Olympics from now until the end of time because it is local support that matters.

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I don't London will have issues, if they do it will be because of the ticketing system or marketing. Not every venue will be sold out for every session but the demand is there.

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The reason cricket wasn't included was because the ICC wanted one cricket format, while Delhi wanted a different format. Also cricket in Malaysia was a logistical nightmare.

And therein lies another problem with the CGs. Not only are there issues with the sports and the conflicts those potentially participating athletes may experience in their scheduling (e.g. the current two test series between Australia and India which is effectively due to the importance placed by the BCCI and to a lesser extent CA on extracting huge revenues from the Indian cricket fans), the individual world governing bodies for most Commonwealth Games sports have no reason to be protective partners of the CGs.

Unlike the IOC which has been cluey enough to bring the various IF heads or their cronies into the Olympic tent by bestowing membership upon them (e.g. Blatter at FINA, Lafoui for FINA etc) who is going to give a tinker's cuss at say the IAAF if Diack himself has no engagement with the CGF. No one from the ICC is truly engaged with the CGF, hence cricket's short and temporary alliance with the KL Games.

The CGs rank incredibly lowly not so much as a sporting priority for the athletes, but more so for the various world sporting bodies that have their sports under the CG banner. For every netball or lawn bowl where the participants and authorities have a degree of complicity in the staging of a successful CGs there are 5 or 10 more sports that have other more pressing interests and their own tournaments or championships to propagate.

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I don't London will have issues, if they do it will be because of the ticketing system or marketing. Not every venue will be sold out for every session but the demand is there.

Have to lean towards Mo's position on this; throw in the more sport's friendly and diverse nature of London's projected domestic audience, coupled with the iconic and favourable nature of London as a destination for international travellers, then on balance I'd expect London 2012 to be exceedingly well attended.

Athens and Beijing had issues that were unique to each (and hence not necessarily trend setting for future games) that impacted upon the capability of the hosts to generate full venues. Sydney on the other hand had no difficulty taking up the slack from the less than expected international visitors because unlike the following two host cities Australians love sport of almost any type without any kind of "if it ain't us winning we don't want to know" attitude.

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:blink: Woooo...

Both Major Sunday papers here in NZ had articals that have absolutly panned the CWGs as totally pointless. A total anachronisim and one event NZ should aviod from hosting again. The go on to say that if Auckland carried on it would have cost the nation dearly only to see Australia yet again remind everyone why you must spend on a generation to create 'master race athletes'.

One writer actually praised the NZ Government for ditching the Auckland 2018 bid attempt as the most sensible thing to come out of this government...As well know many here were quite upset at this decision. Personally considering what has happened, I as a NZer am breathing a sigh of relief.

The call to look for something to host after 2015 needs to be global or regional inclusive (not former imperial)...and that can only be the Pan Pacs, an Athletics Federation meet, the minor FIFA WCs, and of course the Olympic Games in what ever guise.

In the New Zealand mindset, I do believe the games are finished as anything important to the nation...if only to be used as a litmus test to the Olympics. I believe by the time of Glasgow they will be recieved here with a 'meeh' and in 2018 as a 'whatever'.

As can be seen by other comments in this thread, Canada is pretty much already there and if you really read into Mo Rush's words, South Africa's future is definitly looking elsewhere...

The future prettyt much see this event being hosted by the UK and Australia only.

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Another reason I love the Commies. All sorts of new talent that might not make the Olympic Games or get much exposure at the Olympic Games but can bag a medal at the Commies.

Yep, I've been loving Louise Hazel at these Games; one to look out for in the future, and one of the best interviewees.

This is what the Commonwealth Games are good at.

Louise-Hazel-006.jpg

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It's the cool thing to do though, bagging the Commonwealth Games - I remember reading stuff like this around the time of KL98, Murray Deaker in particular. It's just a subject of cultural cringe, it conjures up images of the sun never setting on the British Empire.

It's not as if the Commonwealth Games have ever been on par with the Olympics. It's just that as we grow older everything from the past seems far *better* than it is now. You'd have to say that the Com Games are probably right on the tail of the Olympics as being the most competitive, and surely if there is room for the Pan-Am's and Asian Games - why not the Coms.

I would certainly rather host and/or watch the Com Games - as opposed to some kind of Pacific Event.

I mean, what is the *point* of the Commonwealth Games supposed to be anyway? who are we kidding, for the majority, it's just a sporting and cultural event. It certainly does give a stepping stone for further experience, it's just that now, there are far more stepping stone opportunities.

For the host city, aslong as they do their organisational part, it can bring mass regeneration, stimulus of economy bla bla bla (we know the story here). It's not as if we are enriching the greater life of the world or anything though - it's just a sporting event.

A sporting event that does still get alot of attention and have alot of support.

As has been mentioned previously, it just needs abit of smart management and needs yet another kickstart, the kind that has happened a few times in its shakey past.

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I don't think the CGs are being bagged because it's the cool thing Matty; there is a genuine crisis in the whole structures, organisation, funding, orientation and raison d'etre of the games which have been brought to a head by the abysmal actions of the Delhi 2010 OC, facilitated in no small part by the CGF itself. As it stands:

  • Few of the world's best athletes either can or want to attend the games
  • Revenues that fund the games, the CGF and attending delegations are decreasing thanks in no small part to the more crowded schedule of more important events that bleed off sponsors as well as reduce the broadcasting rights price
  • The CGF has the bare minimum of internal systems and external influence to determine the success of future games success
  • Major participatory nations such as Australia, NZ and Canada have become less engaged publicly with the games than ever before (as seen in the decline in funds for teams, falling ratings and opposition to future bids)
  • When juxtapositioned with almost every major world championship or even regional events such as the Pan Pacs, the Diamond League athletics meets, Asiad games, Champions Trophy Hockey tournament, Tour de France etc etc the CGs have become third tier events in almost every instance
  • The inadequacies of the CGF and its leadership in dealing with Delhi has been the reverse of the IOC and (for example) Athens; the host city holds all the cards in the CG equation which is not how to manage a cyclical sporting festival.
  • The CG brand has been damaged possibly irreparably by the Delhi farce which have been without a doubt the worst example of a multi-sport festival since St Louis 1904.

As for wanting another kickstart after a shakey past the general trend of the games has I believe reached the point of no return. Before you start trying to revive the CGs for future long term success it has to be asked why. For whose benefit will a CGs be in say 2022? 2026? Will they become a youth games? Will they become a niche event for the likes of Nuie, Botswana and Guernsey to strut their stuff knowing they will never be able to compete in the Olympics and win the same recognition? No one can support the continued presentation of the CGs if they aren't going to be more than a glorified camp for the non-elite sportsmen and women of a non-heterogeneous selection of nations once part of a dead empire.

In the 30s, 50s, 60s and possibly 70s the CGs had a valid and arguably valuable place both in the Commonwealth and in international sport. Now with the growth in professional sport and megabucks being tossed around for everything from Skins swimming championships to 20/20 One Day Cricket and even the Olympics themselves the CGs are looking less and less relevant to athletes and fans alike and less and less valuable as a sports product. It's simply a good idea that is edging close to its use by date.

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Just kinda glancing at the various views, here's one from a non-Commie onlooker. It's a strange bird. It's neither regional NOR truly international because it doesn't really include the TOP 4 sporting nations of the world: the US, Germany, China and Russia. Only #5 Australia is in there for world-class competition. It's "glue" is being members of a non-existent empire PLUS throwing in some 'strange' members.

It's like a beauty contest...breaking up the UK so that there would 4 entrants... :blink:

And then it does and it doesn't include truly Commonwealth sports like cricket, for example--nor truly int'l sports like soccer and volleyball. So, it's really a strange kinda hybrid.

And that stupid baton. Get rid of it. It's the most ungainly, idiotic symbol I have ever seen.

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I don't London will have issues, if they do it will be because of the ticketing system or marketing. Not every venue will be sold out for every session but the demand is there.

Wimbledon is a fine example of how Londoners and the Brits will support the games - after all, for the other 50 weeks of the year tennis is barely on our radar.

In the New Zealand mindset, I do believe the games are finished as anything important to the nation...if only to be used as a litmus test to the Olympics. I believe by the time of Glasgow they will be recieved here with a 'meeh' and in 2018 as a 'whatever'.

As can be seen by other comments in this thread, Canada is pretty much already there and if you really read into Mo Rush's words, South Africa's future is definitly looking elsewhere...

The future pretty much see this event being hosted by the UK and Australia only.

I do think though in four years time with the games in the heart of summer that they may be taken more seriously than the last couple which took place either far too early or far too late in the season for many. The only issue will be clashes with other events - but we've seen even in October that's been a major problem too, but I think on the whole the fact the games are in July means the top athletes will look upon them much more favourably, and hence their appeal will be wider once again.

The trouble is though what happens four years later. They've really got to try their best to avoid a games in March or October again. At the absolute earliest they should be May (before the World Cup), and at the absolute latest September, as the IOC would require.

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It's the cool thing to do though, bagging the Commonwealth Games - I remember reading stuff like this around the time of KL98, Murray Deaker in particular. It's just a subject of cultural cringe, it conjures up images of the sun never setting on the British Empire.

It's not as if the Commonwealth Games have ever been on par with the Olympics. It's just that as we grow older everything from the past seems far *better* than it is now. You'd have to say that the Com Games are probably right on the tail of the Olympics as being the most competitive, and surely if there is room for the Pan-Am's and Asian Games - why not the Coms.

I would certainly rather host and/or watch the Com Games - as opposed to some kind of Pacific Event.

I mean, what is the *point* of the Commonwealth Games supposed to be anyway? who are we kidding, for the majority, it's just a sporting and cultural event. It certainly does give a stepping stone for further experience, it's just that now, there are far more stepping stone opportunities.

For the host city, aslong as they do their organisational part, it can bring mass regeneration, stimulus of economy bla bla bla (we know the story here). It's not as if we are enriching the greater life of the world or anything though - it's just a sporting event.

A sporting event that does still get alot of attention and have alot of support.

As has been mentioned previously, it just needs abit of smart management and needs yet another kickstart, the kind that has happened a few times in its shakey past.

I liked your post Matty. And pretty much agree with you. The commies just seem to be an event that really annoys sports purists every four years, who get bothered and aggravated that people pay them any attention at all, and who seem to think they have to keep pointing out to everyone that they're horribly mistaken for having the temerity to watch and enjoy something just for the occasion of it, rather than treat them with disdain they feel they deserve. In other words, how dare anyone pay any attention or regard to anything that isn't a world championships or the Olympics.

And it does happen as regular as clockwork. I can personally attest as far back as 1982 (and I'm sure if I researched the archives it goes back much further than that), and regularly each cycle since then, I've subbed and read grumpy comment pieces and editorials from "serious" sporties, bemoaning the games as a second rate gathering, of no relevance, doomed to failure and of no value as an event or as sport. The trouble is, that could describe just about any multi-country multi-sport event, and ignores that the appeal of such events, even the Olympics, goes well beyond traditional sports fans and followers and cast a much wider crossover net in the wider audience. They're entertainment, they're a carnival, they're an international festival and gathering entice you into watching events and sports that you'd never think of making an effort to watch (presuming they were even televised) at any other time of the four-year cycle.

I was rather busy with work last week (not to mention on the road in Melbourne for half of it), so didn't get to watch a great deal of the games beyond the highlights, what got reported on the news bulletins, and a few quick switches over to 10 to see how the coverage was going. This weekend, however, I had plenty of time free and plenty of incentive to relax and take it easy, so I made up for it with some solid Delhi watching. And you know what? I found It all great fun and enjoyable and absorbing, and was reminded of just why the commies are just so fun to watch. Loved watching the road cycling through the streets of Delhi, watching the likes of the Isle of Man athletes mix it the Aussie, Kiwi, English and Canuck talent. Engrossed at some great duelling and eye-candy the diving (and it's not like Despatie versus Mitcham is "second rate" competition). Getting a grip on some of the new emerging names in swimming on the final night of the acquatics races (and I probably still get more enjoyment watching a CWGs swim meet than, say, the Pan Pacs or even the FINA worlds). Watching Samoan weightlifters beaming for joy after pipping Scots competitors to the title. Even things like stray dogs on the road race track, which really mad no bearing on the race anyway, were to me added more to the local colour rather as a positive than a negative.

Yes, they're not the Olympics. So what? I'm not tuning in to see the best-of-the-best. I'm tuning in to see a sometimes hoakey, sometimes brilliant, carnival, with some great traditions and history of its own, with a mix of up-and-coming and established athletes, plus lots of athletes who can only fantasize about one day making it to an Olympics, representing nations that otherwise would have little chance of ever making it onto a medal dais, and thrilled at their chance to do so.

Sure, there's things that can be tweaked. NO event, not even the Olympics, can rest on its laurels. But the Commies seem to suffer more from people who are actively looking for reasons to rubbish and dismiss them, than any other.

In the meantime, I thought today's editorial from the Sydney Morning Herald was gracious and balanced and put it well:

Games emerge from confusion

October 11, 2010

The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi has been a triumph of Australian sporting achievement, among other things. Excuse us for crowing, but the medals tally tells the story. Australian swimmers produced the Games' crowning glory with Alicia Coutts's emergence into the front rank of a team which dominated the competition, Leisel Jones's eighth, ninth and tenth Commonwealth Games gold medals, and a fairytale victory over adversity in Geoff Huegill's comeback. The host nation India is also celebrating a best-ever medal haul, and a spectacular opening ceremony that brought the country's dynamism, diversity and irrepressible joie de vivre to a global audience.

Of course, the arrangements and facilities have not been up to scratch. Athletes have become sick on a worrying scale, some of the infrastructure has been second-rate and the ticketing was a shambles - to the point that some events have been staged in almost empty stadiums. Perhaps when India next organises a major international jamboree, it will contract out the job to private enterprise, the same force credited with the nation's economic rise in recent years.

That said, it has been encouraging to see the Games return to the developing world. Until now, Jamaica and Malaysia have been the only non-Anglo nations to host the event. Australia has hosted the most - four times in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney - followed by Canada, and New Zealand. A lot has changed since the 1950s, when all athletes paraded behind the Union Jack, but perhaps not enough.

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Frustration is understandable when poor facilities hinder elite athletes' quest for perfection, but remarks by some Australian athletes and officials have fed perceptions of intolerance on our part. We should be more generous. The problems afflicting India's Games so far have been a small price to pay for sharing the pride and joy that host nation-status can bring. The failings of Delhi reflect, in part, the reality of a planet on which wealth and comfort are unevenly distributed. If the Commonwealth and its games are to have a future they need to engage more, not less, with Asian and African member states. It's time the Games Federation stopped trying to replicate the Olympics' expensive grandeur, and developed a cheaper, more accessible model of the event that can be more easily packaged and implemented in developing nations. That - not new stadiums or sports mania - would be the most fitting legacy of Delhi 2010.

Meanwhile, we cannot but be excited by the prospect of the 2014 Glasgow Games and hopeful that the Gold Coast bags the hosting rights for 2018.

SMH

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... It's neither regional NOR truly international because it doesn't really include the TOP 4 sporting nations of the world: the US, Germany, China and Russia....Only #5 Australia is in there for world-class competition.

<_< And heren lies the rub...With Australia the only sport superpower as a single entity, and with 70% of the gold medal haul, then whats the point? Canada and England have little clout, South Africa is still developing and NZ dosen't even rate! Prehaps the USA should take up it's entry rights at long last and China be able to send a Hong Kong Territory team?

...and as for those 'within UK' island teams. Yes, agree, a UK Home Islands team could cover those.

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Completely agree with Rol's post.

I managed to have my first big long lengthy watch of the Commonwealth games Fri, Sat and Sun nights. I was flicking through the 5 channels and stopped for a while and watched abit of table tennis, watched a considerably large portion of a road cycle race, abit of womens heptathlon etc etc.

I have 4 or so dedicated sports channels at home all year round, but never what I stumble over those and continue watching.

The Com's must still have *some* kind of attraction and pull, unless I am the only one.

Often the same people who critique the Games value are the same people (talking mainly about journos here) who also get joy and entertainment out of watching a tense badminton match - something only events like the Com Games (and of course Olympics etc etc) provide us.

No arguments though, that Delhi is not the way to go. I think finally the CGF is discovering that, and maybe some action will be taken.

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I'm no Commonwealth Game hater, and I've sat down every now and again and watched some of the events in Delhi (not much but enough to satisfy for myself the expense of our Foxtel subscription). Yes, there is value to be had in having a relaxed and 'friendly' games as the CGs have been touted for years now (certainly since my earliest memories of 74 and Christchurch), and I'd be lying if I didn't enjoy seeing Australians dominate the medal tally. Having said that there has been almost a Devil's Pact between the Delhi organisers and teh CGF to let things go way out of control in almost every aspect, trying to turn something which has never had the status of the five ringed circus into a faux Olympics. The real moral concerns relating to the manner in which average Indians have been exploited or worse killed as part of the build up to these games has left a very bitter taste in my mouth. And then when you see someone like a Samoan weightlifter doing very well or a Ugandan rugby team taking on Australia you have to ask what is the cost in indulging the bizarre mix of rank amateurs and dedicated elite professionals at the CGs.

Now as for the SMH editorial Rols there is something smugly patronising about the piece, insofar as it ignores so much that has gone terribly wrong for the people most affected by the games (Delhi's poor and indigent, the migrant workers etc etc) so long as everyone gets a feel good story from the likes of Huegill et al and that we see a glittering piece of ceremonial theatre. Then it sheets home responsibility for the failures of the games to be morally responsible and organisationally efficient to the CGF, as well as declaring they are the ones responsible for the games gigantism. Truth be told it has been the likes of the organisers in KL, in Melbourne and in Delhi who have pushed the 'lets turn these into an Olympics lite' CG model and the Federation has had to acquiesce because no one there has the political or financial clout to curtail things. Perry Crosswhite offers a more appropriate appraisal with his preference for a smaller games which puts at the core of the games the athletes. It has been to the detriment of Delhi that it has taken what at its centre is an enjoyable piece of sporting festivities and turned it into some kind of hyperbolic statement reflecting India's greatness. the original product we saw in say Brisbane in 1982 or Auckland in 1990 was pretty good; now it's become something of an emperor with no clothes. Here's hoping someone finds something to cover up the CGs inadequacies in Glasgow four years from now.

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I'm no Commonwealth Game hater, and I've sat down every now and again and watched some of the events in Delhi (not much but enough to satisfy for myself the expense of our Foxtel subscription). Yes, there is value to be had in having a relaxed and 'friendly' games as the CGs have been touted for years now (certainly since my earliest memories of 74 and Christchurch), and I'd be lying if I didn't enjoy seeing Australians dominate the medal tally. Having said that there has been almost a Devil's Pact between the Delhi organisers and the CGF to let things go way out of control in almost every aspect, trying to turn something which has never had the status of the five ringed circus into a faux Olympics. Teh real moral concerns relating to the manner in which average Indians have been exploited or worse killed as part of the build up to these games has left a very bitter taste in my mouth. And then when you see someone like a Samoan weightlifter doing very well or a Ugandan rugby team taking on Australia you have to ask what is the cost in indulging the bizarre mix of rank amateurs and dedicated elite professionals at the CGs.

I dunno, maybe I'm just a callous pr!ck. But to me India is India. It's a country of staggering inequalities and contrasts. Nothing I can do on a personal level to solve those challenges. The CWG didn't cause them, they'd be no different without the CWGs, and it's not affecting my enjoyment of the Games any more than awareness of the social inequalities and injustices of Africa or Indonesia or Latin America stop me enjoying the WC in South Africa or holidays in resorts and swish hotels in Kenya, Bali or Argentina.

Yes, preparations for this year's fest could have been vastly better, but I blame that far more personally on a single man - Kalmadi - rather than on Indian society. And anyway, as it is, the games are running reasonably well. Yes, there's been the odd problem, but so far (touch wood) nothing that's really compromised them irredeemably - Indeed, I'd still rate Edinburgh '86 as a lower ebb in the CWGs than Delhi 10 (and again, it was one person, in that case Maggie Thatcher, who was responsible for that rather than the Scots as a nation). Crowds are up and now respectable (certainly from what I've seen at the diving, swimming, athletics and Rugby in the past few days) and glitches like dogs on cycling routes or monkey-police patrolling the village are part of the local colour to me more than a problem - it's not like you award a games to India and expect the same standard as the Swiss would offer. In fact, many of the overnight sensationalist outrages of the past week - possible bugs in the pool, those dogs again - have turned out to be such incredible nit-picking beat-ups - as much as sharks in Sydney Harbour or Bogong moth migrations were to Sydney.

Scale is scale. It's what the host is equipped to offer. It's not like a Victoria BC could have emulated the scale of a Brisbane or Auckland, any more than Glasgow or Gold Coast could ever hope to emulate the scale of a Manchester, Melbourne or Delhi. Indeed, there's not many other Commonwealth cities that could, and it's not like I think anyone is expecting London, Sydney or Toronto - about the only such contenders - are going to be hosting them soon.

And the mix of rank amateurs and elite professionals are part of the charm of any games, the Olympics or the commies, to me. To me, such events would be lesser without the likes of the Eric the Eels or Eddie the Eagles. I definitely enjoy such performances more than watching a Bolt or a Phelps fulfill their destiny. And I certainly get a buzz to see the liks of Samoa, or Isle of Man, or St Vincent and Grenadines stand atop a podium - and these guys are overjoyed to be there. A Commonwealth medal seems to mean a lot for them, just as it does for a Steve Hooker (who publicly rated his gold tilt as one of his "Big Goals" for the year).

I may not be as bad as the Baron in that I don't disdain the sports elements of international games. But neither are they the be-all-and-end-all of such events for me. The ceremony, traditions and occassion are as much of a drawcard to me as the events themselves. To me, the worth of games like the Olympics and the Commies are more than the sum of their parts. It's the total package that make them a total entertainment event.

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Indeed, I am really enthusiastic about Glasgow in 4 years time, I think it will have that Manchester 2002 feel about it.

Oh, Adrian, can you clear your private message inbox or e mail me please (singwithshakey@hotmail.com) cheers .

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