The Commonwealth Games Both Impressed and Disappointed

In the afterglow of the Commonwealth Games, many Indians are patting themselves on the back for India’s efforts at hosting the games which, by and large, were successful.  They got off to an embarrassing start with the collapse of a bridge just days before the games.  This had athletes from Australia and Scotland threatening to withdraw and many Indians fearing what lay ahead with such an ominous beginning.  But now that the closing ceremonies are over, most will see the Commonwealth Games as what they were, not as bad as many had feared, but not as good as they should have been.  We should learn from these games and make sure not improve upon what we did right these games and be sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.

If India wants to be a respectable candidate for future international events such as the Olympics or even the World Cup, it needs to compete at the world-record level.  There’s been a trend of late that each Olympiad outshines the previous.  What’s more, the controversies surrounding the games have more often involved politics than the welfare of the athletes themselves.

However, things did end well.  Security was fantastic – this was a large concern for many.  And the final ceremony drew high praise from even Pakistani journalists.  So, Indians should be proud, but acknowledge the areas where we can improve.  Here are my thoughts

Marketing: Bronze

The games themselves were moderately popular for the countries participating.  Unlike the Olympics or World Cup, this is not a competition where every nation can vie for a spot.  In America, the games hardly make a ripple in the mediasphere unless you have satellite television.  But, I was pleased with India’s efforts to market the games through social media and get the message out that India would be up to the task.

Logistics: Gold

Security was top notch and we all know how important that is for the guests of our nation, as well as our reputation around the world.  I was impressed.  What’s more, people enforced traffic laws for the first time in my memory.  Why not make that a more permanent thing?

Athletic Performance: Silver

Several athletes performed extraordinarily well.  India’s unexpected 101 medals surprised nations like Canada and others…and perhaps some in India.  India’s medal count put them second overall.  My only hope would be that we could initiate some more training programs in the near future to see young female athletes aspire to become medalists in the future.

Preparation: No medal

The structures and preparations for the games were woefully over budget and there were disturbing signs of corruption in the budgeting of the process.  Next event, the Indian government needs to be more transparent with the budgeting and come down hard, and publicly, on anyone misappropriating funds.

So, this is my closing ceremony.  And it is one where I would encourage you to share your thoughts on the games and what can be done to improve them, or events like them in the future.  Please leave them in the comments section below.

Ready, set, go!

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