Thursday, 24 July 2014

Commonwealth Games! #Glasgow2014

So what did we think about the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony?  I personally really liked it but I bet there are going to be really negative reviews about it so I thought I would get my one in first! 

Sadly I wasn't there to enjoy it in person but loved watching it from the comfort of my sofa! 

For all you non-Commonwealthers out there the Commonwealth Games are a multi-sport celebration of sporting talents from around the Commonwealth.  The Commonwealth derives from the British Empire, back in the day and is now like a big family around the world with the Queen at its head. 

It's the first time Glasgow is hosting the Games, although it's the third time it is being held in Scotland (the last two were in Edinburgh) and I think Glasgow 2014 is going to be special one!  

Tonight was the opening ceremony and it was all systems go, we had a whirlwind tour around Scotland, some great (and not so great) music, loads of people and a really special message!  

The first thing I loved about the opening ceremony was the people.  It was stuffed full of real, local people of all shapes, colours and ages.  The ceremony felt really inclusive, some of the dancing was simple and everyone could do it but it looked special being done on a bigger scale.  I especially liked when there was a sort of musical chairs scene with loads of people and lots of colours! 

Glasgow didn't try to compete with London 2012 and I think that's a good thing, it was never going to beat it on sheer scale and special effects but I think it captured a different spirit.  It felt like a really genuine attempt to represent Scotland and Glasgow and us, the people.  Yeah some of it was cheesy - like the Irn Bru bottles and dancing tunnocks tea cakes, but that's what these things are about.  It was a ceremony to show off all the little motifs that make Scotland Scotland and I think it was done pretty well! 

Part of what makes Scotland was also found in the various messages throughout the show which left me proud to be Scottish.  

Firstly, and mainly, there was the partnership with UNICEF which was given a pretty prominent role in the ceremony.  It was so prominent that Ewan McGregor even opened the show with a message about it!  Basically Glasgow 2014 have teamed up with UNICEF to try and contribute towards a fund for the children of the Commonwealth and throughout the show there was references to it, as well as little videos about the scheme in the six regions of the Commonwealth.  

At times I was worried it was going to be a little Comic Relief-ey where you are bombarded by harrowing images to make you donate, but it wasn't.  There was a pretty steady rhythm and I don't think it was too much.  

It culminated with Sir Chris Hoy and James McAvoy asking us to donate £5 to the appeal by texting "First" to 70333.  I did, did you?  I must say that whoever had the idea to put some eye candy in charge of making me spend £5 should get a back, since who would refuse them in kilts?  

There was also little things like a support of gay marriage (John Barrowman kissed a man live at the tour stop of Gretna Green).  This was a real snub to the 42 states where being gay is illegal in the Commonwealth and shows the support for gay rights in Scotland - there have been petitions to the Scottish Parliament for gay marriage since as early ass 2009 but they couldn't change the law as it is a power that still resided with Westminster.  There was also a homage paid to Nelson Mandela, which all contributed to the welcoming and inclusive vibe in the ceremony and I think it was really great that they were included.  

Now to my favourite part of any Games ceremony - the athletes' parade!  This one was really special because not only was it a home games so Scotland had a big entrance but also because I was on the look out for all my friends who are competing and part of the coaching team!  I spotted a few! 

I loved the Scottie dogs who led every team in, especially when they were misbehaving!  

The music was really great, it was such a good mix by Scottish DJ Mylo- modern but not so that it will seem dated in a couple of years.  

On to our outfits - everyone seems to hate them.  They've been slated for months, but I don't think they are that bad!  I think it's modern and colourful  and I am desperate for one of the girl's shawls!  Don't you want to steal it?  

I also really liked the Welsh girls' uniform - the dress looked lovely and they looked some of the most comfortable.  

I am really exciting to be watching the games and you should all try and tune in when you can, I know I will be!  I will be going up to some of the shooting events next week and will report back.  Sorry if you think this is boring but I think it is awesome, and such a great time for Scotland! 

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