20th Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014 opened!
The 20th Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014 commenced with a colourful opening ceremony yesterday held at Celtic Park Stadium in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. Due to the time difference between Scotland and Malaysia (where I am), I couldn’t watch the ceremony live from television as it was midnight over here when the ceremony was held. But nevermind, I got to watch it online today, of which I can skip some parts out from this nearly three-hour show.
Few of the highlights of the ceremony would be:
(a) Each of the participants of the 71 competing nations and territories entered the stadium for the parade and they were led by a Scottish Terrier dog wearing a tartan coat emblazoned with the country’s name. That’s something you would be surprised. I find this cute and interesting.
(b) A touching moment of silence to pay tribute to the 298 victims in the MH17 flight tragedy that occurred last year. Over 80 of the victims are from Commonwealth nations. This is a very touching move and the visual of over 40 000 people in the stadium standing up in silent for a minute as a sign of respect is an impacting sight to behold. Malaysia’s contingent arrived with the flag flown at half mast and with the front row of people dressed in Malaysia Airlines uniforms. The Commonwealth family had shown tremendous support for my country, Malaysia.
(c) The giant LED screen (recognized as Europe’s largest LED screen) which stands at the whole of the stadium’s south stand offers overwhelming display of lights and visuals and serves as a lovely backdrop for the center of the stadium where performances were held.
(d) President of Commonwealth Games Federation, Prince Tunku Imran had a brief moment of struggle to open the baton that carries the Queen’s message. He successfully opened it after a while and handed over the note back to Queen Elizabeth II before Her Majesty read out her speech and declaring the Games open.
(e) First time collaboration between UNICEF with an international sporting organization, and the ceremony will be the platform to achieve bigger result to help the unfortunate kids across the world. Stars like Ewan McGregor and James McAvoy (both are my favourite actors) appeared in the ceremony to encourage people to donate for the needy children across the Commonwealth nations.
(f) Of course the fireworks. Quite a lovely pyrotechnics display from Glasgow at the end of the ceremony.
Of course the level of this opening ceremony shouldn’t be compared to those organized by Asian cities particularly of China as seen in their recent years’ ceremonies (Beijing 2008, Guangzhou 2010). It’s not about big-scaled performances or massive sequences. It’s about the hospitality, friendliness and dazzling colours that Glasgow delivers to the world through this opening ceremony. Quite similar to London 2012’s ceremonies but is in smaller proportion, since Commonwealth Games is smaller than the Olympic Games. The opening ceremony isn’t bad or great either. It won’t be memorable after some time.
Also nice to see Susan Boyle again. On the other hand, the violin and music sequence when the Commonwealth Games Federation’s flag is brought in is wonderful too. I love the colourful stage floor too. Ahh..not to forget the amazing flypass by Red Arrows to welcome the Queen to the stadium. Hmm…the performances are too little, and major portion of it only features singing which can be very boring most of the time. That’s a bit more of my reviews or opinions of this opening ceremony.
Ahead from now are the 10 days of competitions in 17 sports before the closing ceremony which is to be held at Hampden Park Stadium on 3rd August 2014 to close the games and to pass on to the next host, Gold Coast 2018.
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)