The Games Belong to Glasgow!
Thousands of people celebrated yesterday, as Glasgow was officially named as the next Host City of the Commonwealth Games during the spectacular Closing Ceremony of the Games in Delhi.
The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Bob Winter, accepted the Flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation, as the countdown to 2014 began in earnest. The symbolic transition from Delhi to Glasgow was marked by a special performance showcasing both city and nation to an estimated television audience of one billion people.
More than 350 volunteer performers from across Scotland used giant inflatable sculptures, the sound of modern bagpipes and colourful tartan and dance, as they took viewers through a contemporary vision of the country and cosmopolitan Glasgow.
Back in Glasgow more than 700 people cheered as the images were relayed back to the Old Fruitmarket, which was the scene of euphoric celebrations when Glasgow won the right to host the Games in 2007. Among them were friends and family of the cast members performing in Delhi and sporting stars who tasted gold in India. Also in the audience were athletes from the Glasgow School of Sport, some of whom are going for gold in 2014.
City of Glasgow Swimming Club athlete and Commonwealth Gold Medal winner, Robbie Renwick, was at the Old Fruitmarket. He said: “Delhi was an amazing experience and, of course, the gold medal is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. The reception I have had since arriving back in Glasgow has been overwhelming and the handover celebrations at the Old Fruitmarket has proved once again the passion this city has for sport. I can't wait to compete in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.”
Councillor Archie Graham, the Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said: “This is it. The Games belong to Glasgow and we have less than four years to ensure they are not only a resounding success, but provide a lasting legacy for years to come – and I have no doubt that we will make that happen.
“The athletes performed brilliantly and will always be great ambassadors for Glasgow 2014. But what made me so proud was watching 350 volunteers from across Scotland showing the world what makes Glasgow so special – and I have no doubt they will be fantastic ambassadors for 2014 in the months and years ahead.
At the Old Fruitmarket, the transition from Delhi to Glasgow, was celebrated by a festival of Indian entertainment, including dance and music, specially composed and choreographed for the event. As the afternoon continued, the focus in music and entertainment became distinctly Scottish, culminating in a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
The Scottish Sport Minister Shona Robison MSP, said: “Today really is a momentous day - the moment that the baton falls to Glasgow and the Games come to Scotland. The Games will be the biggest sporting event ever to hit Scotland and it’s fantastic to be celebrating this across the Country.
“Scots athletes rose to the challenge on the international stage and were fantastic ambassadors to our country. We had a young team in Delhi, many gaining vital experience to compete in their disciplines on home soil in 2014.
“The Games will only be a success if they are about people and communities coming along, getting involved and being inspired. I truly believe that we will rise to that challenge and Glasgow will host a Games that will live long in the memory. It’s up to all of us to grasp this opportunity by getting involved and making them an outstanding success.”
Earlier in the day, 140 performers set George alight, with a blaze of colour and movement. Waving flags to original music, the Reel 2 Real cast included, pupils from Oakgrove Primary School and Blackfriars Primary School. Dance groups included, Punjabi No 1, Flyin Jalapenos, Glasgow Community Dance Theatre, Dirty Feet, #1blud, Regenerate and Indepen-dance. Other groups included, Angela Macdonald Dance School, Dalmarnock Community Centre dance group, PEEK (Possibilities for East End Kids) and the Riddrie Resource Centre.
Lunch-time shoppers enjoyed music from Dhol drummers, pipers and fiddlers, as the unique performance unfolded.
Reel 2 Real was funded by EventScotland, as part of Scotland-wide celebration and the Old Fruitmarket celebrations were funded by Glasgow City Council. Both events were project-managed by Glasgow Life.