Yes, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are now over, so I couldn’t let these fantastic games go by without blogging about them since they’ve been in my home city!
My highlights are many, so I’m going to pick out just a few for you tonight.
My first highlight has to be a Scottish gold medallist, so my choice is Ross Murdoch who won the 200m breaststroke final, piping the Glasgow Commonwealth Games poster boy, Michael Jamieson to the gold medal. The look on Ross Murdoch’s face when he realised he’d won gold, was absolutely priceless.
For Scottish supports it was a night when we were delighted for Ross but also really felt for Michael Jamieson who looked shocked and broken because he hadn’t delivered the gold medal that was expected of him…Michael, don’t be sad, you did your best and that’s all we can ask, you were just beaten on the night by someone who just went that little bit quicker than you.
We were lucky enough to attend a number of sporting events during the games, including several visits to our national football stadium, Hampden, which had been transformed into a top-class athletics venue. So my second highlight is the athletics, although there are a few specific events/achievements I want to specifically highlight, the first is another Scottish gold medallist, Libby Clegg who, along with her guide Mikhail Huggins, who won Scotland’s first gold medal in track in field for quite some time, and we were in the stadium to witness it, and get a great photo of Libby and Mikhail as they did their lap of honour. The best bit for me was at Libby’s medal ceremony, when the whole of Hampden seemed to be singing along to O Flower of Scotland. Wow, what an atmosphere and what noise!
We were also present when Blessing Okagbare won both the women’s 100m and the 200m, what a fantastic show of running, to do the double. I also loved seeing the men’s 800m final where Nijel Amos beat the odds-on favourite David Rudisha, but what a gracious loser, he was all smiles when we warmly congratulated Nijel Amos on his victory.
Then there are two other Scottish track and field medallists I have to mention – Firstly Eilidh Child, the poster-girl of the Commonwealth Games, finishing a superb 2nd to win the silver medal in the women’s 400m hurdles, and again, we were there to see it. She got such a fantastic ovation from the crowd, it was brilliant to witness. But the best athletics moment for me came on Friday night when Lynsey Sharp won silver in the women’s 800m despite throwing up all the previous night and being on a drip until the morning of the race. Lynsey has also had a very tough year with injury and illness, and so for me, seeing her battle back from those dark days to win an unexpected medal, was absolutely amazing – Her story touched me, and so I was so pleased for her.
There were loads of other highlights, but I’d be here for a very long time if I tried to list them all. To all the volunteers at the Games, thank you, you did a fantastic job, and helped create a great party atmosphere at the venues.
But before I finish, I have to share with you my final highlight was during last night’s closing ceremony when Prince Imran of Malaysia (Commonwealth Games Federation president) ended his speech with “Glasgow, you were pure dead brilliant” in his best Glasgow accent, it was simply, pure dead brilliant!
I have never been so proud to be a Glaswegian as I have been during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, so thank you Glesga, you done us proud!