December 12, 2017

Spectacular show opens Delhi Commonwealth Games

Aerostat ballon and laser lights - very clever India. At last the media has moved on from dirty toilets.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games have begun with a spectacular opening ceremony in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Putting aside weeks of negative publicity 9,000 performers backed by fireworks, a giant helium balloon and stunning props including a fantastic train treated the 50,000 crowd to a show as good as any Olympic Games opening.

With 4,500 athletes from the 71 competing nations this is a significant sporting event and an important step in India’s journey towards being a major world power.

After weeks of media bashing of every aspect of the games preparation finally there was a good news story. The news channels from western countries in particular have been at their patronising colonial best.

Repeated shots of dirty toilets and banner headlines when a snake was found in a room were well over the top. It is a standard tabloid tactic to be in an endless cycle of building something up then tearing it down only to build it up again.

What we have witnessed in recent weeks is credible news organisations jumping on to the tabloid bandwagon en masse and putting the boot into Delhi’s Commonwealth Games. Now these same organisations are trumpeting the wonderful opening ceremony. This positive mood will last only until they find the next snake or someone sees a mosquito.

India is a wonderful chaotic country that works. It might not run with the precision of a Swiss watch but it gets there in its own way and own style. The organising for the Commonwealth Games has been no different. Things will not be perfect but overall it will be great and provide a lifetime of memories for competing athletes and the thousands who cheered them on from the stands.

The Games have always been about people. Bringing together the diversity of the old British Empire and celebrating sport and each others cultures. Well done India for putting on a great show and all the best from Newswarped for the rest of the Games.

Well done to the entire New Zealand team who provided a comic turn by ‘sheepishly’ following flag bearer Irene Van Dyk when she was ushered away for an interview.