Firstly I want to say a massive thanks to everyone for indulging my obsession with everything commonwealth on here, Twitter & Instagram. I’m more than aware that I got carried away and you’ll be pleased to hear after this one last indulgent post normality will resume (or as normal as I get). So please lovely readers indulge me one last time. 🙂
When I chat to people and they find out how many event I managed to take in during Glasgow 2014 the first question they always ask is – what’s been your highlight? This is quite a hard question to answer, I’m going to tell you a few of them later but first I want to tell you what I rediscovered this past 12 days…..I am utterly in love with Glasgow.
I think sometimes when you’ve lived in a city as long as I have you start to take it for granted, you forget to stop and appreciate the city around you. As you know I’m not a true Glaswegian just an adopted one, sure I always feel lucky to live in the vibrant west end of the city but I never truly understood until this past few week actually what a special place we all live and love in.
They throw around the word legacy quite a bit when they talk about large games such as these, when they do they’re always talking about kids taking up sport and being (unlike the generations before them) just a bit more health conscious. I say that will not be my legacy…..my ever last feeling from these the 20th Commonwealth Games will be Pride!
This is a city and people to be proud of, sure we have our moaners and naysayers, people who think its cool to sneer at anything and everything. The vast majority however have embraced these games and the world to our incredible city and we’ve said ‘Come on it world – we’re so pleased you’re here’. It’s a city of passionate and loving people, a place to marvel at the history and look to our exciting future with hope, we look after each other and we’re warm. These last 12 days have taught me more than anything that if London is the UKs head then we are this fine nations heart.
I’ve had the most incredible time during the Games….in fact one of the best times of my life and as the commonwealth leaves the party, I am going to miss the games but am lucky to have completely fallen head over heels in love with my city.
Here are my top moments from the games – they made me laugh, they made me cry and gave me goosebumps and generally left me in awe of the human spirit.
In no specific order!
The opening ceremony was a wonderful night, when Team Scotland was announced into the stadium there was this wall of sound that even now thinking about it gives me goosebumps. I was screaming and waving like a lunatic. For me it was an epic moment of the games.
During the opening ceremony the crowd spontaneously bursting into song along with Nicola Bernadette playing a beautiful rendition of Loch Lomond left me spine tinglingly proud and very watery eyed.
My afternoon with Mr Geek at the Live Zone at Glasgow Green stands out as a major highlight. We choose to go on the hottest day of the year so far and I was in complete awe of how the Green had been transformed. Everyone was happy to be there in the moment together. Bravo Glasgow Council it was an incredible festival.
Another epic moment for me was being in Tollcross when Dan Wallace won his gold in the 400m individual medley. During those last 100m I leapt to my feet and was screaming such helpful things as ‘Go Dan, Go’ or the classically inspiring ‘just swim faster’ I feel I in someway can take responsibility for his epic success with such inspirational screaming.
The weightlifting was a surprising hit with me. During my first session when I saw now one of the classic images of the Games Zoe Smith winning gold and doing her backflip was great fun. It’s a brilliant sport to see live, a combination of sheet brute strength, mental grit and playing physiological mind games with your opponent.
Eating mac and cheese with a glass of really nice Champagne at BBC at the Quay after we’d been to a session of weightlifting at the SECC complex. I’m a firm believer that champagne goes with everything except toothpaste. It was a lovely moment standing watching Greg Rutherford being presented with his medal on the big screen while scoffing some pretty tasty food. The BBC did an amazing job with the Quay it’s was a lovely area and I shall definitely miss it.
A really big highlight for me was the way the mostly Scottish crowd really embraced Team England and the other Home Nations, the cheer at the opening ceremony for England was nearly as loud as the one for Scotland. If there was no Scottish competitor the crowd were more than happy to throw their 100% vocal support behind England instead of the 80% they got if Scotland were taking part. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
I got to see a whopping 4 Scottish Gold medals presented in the 12 days, 1 in the Pool, 1 at Lawnbowls and 2 in Boxing. Standing watching the saltire being raised while belting out Flower of Scotland every time made me emotional and fit to burst with pride.
The truth is I could detail out everything I did and saw for the past 12 days and tell you why I loved it and what made it special to me. The sports, the clydesiders and volunteers, festival 2014 events, the wonderful police and security, the people of Glasgow…..even the weather was typically Scottish and some times you just had to laugh. It all contributed to making this the best party Glasgow has ever and will ever see in my life time. But like all good parties they must sadly come to an end. So like all good hosts I say to the commonwealth and the world – Thanks for coming you’ve been incredible, we’re so glad you came and you don’t have to go home but you got to get the hell out of here!!
See ya Glasgow 2014 you’ve been EPIC!!