Spectacular Opening Ceremony

Commonwealth Games open after weeks of chaos India showcases its culture with opening pageant

Spectators cheer during the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday.


Associated Press
Sports Associated Press Sports

updated 10/3/2010

NEW DELHI — From the ancient past to Bollywood beats, India showcased its culture at a spectacular Commonwealth Games opening pageant on Sunday that followed weeks of chaotic preparations which almost derailed the event.

Britain’s Prince Charles declared the games open in the presence of Indian President Pratibha Patil at the extravagant ceremonies in a packed main stadium.

“India is ready. India’s big moment is finally here,” chief organizer Suresh Kalmadi said. “There have been delays and many challenges but we were able to ride over them all.”

But in a sign of public anger at the problems, many among the 60,000 spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium booed him when he rose to speak.

…India spent billions of dollars to showcase its capital, building a new airport, subways, highways and stadiums in the run up to what is seen as a coming out party to celebrate the country’s new economic clout.

The games bring together more than 6,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories of the commonwealth every four years, but are being staged in Asia for only the second time.

Corruption scandals, health and security concerns, missed construction deadlines and filthy conditions at the athletes’ village became an embarrassment for India in recent months. A dengue fever diagnosis for an Indian team official was also dominating headlines in the hours leading up to the ceremony.

Sunday night’s celebration began with the throbbing of gigantic drums - or nagada - pounded by men wearing turbans. Before the drum beats were silenced, a massive white helium balloon, almost the size of the stadium’s inner field, rose above the stands. The sides of the oblong balloon functioned as a 360-degree screen on which the show was projected.

.The next two hours were a medley of rhythm and melody as artists from various parts of India, ranging from jungle tribespeople to ancient classical dancers, performed on the stage.

Bollywood superstar and Oscar winning composer A.R. Rahman, who provided the score for the movie Slumdog Millionaire, wrote the theme song of the games, “Jiyo, Utho, Bado, Jeeto” or “Live, Rise, March, Win.”

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…Officials hope the spectacular beginning of the games will help erase the ignominy the country has experienced over the past few weeks because of the last minute preparations.

At one point it appeared that many teams would pull out to force the games to be canceled.

But Indian officials insisted that just like an Indian wedding - when work is going on until the last day - the games will take place without a hitch.

The track is even more spectacular! My local track is in a better condition and it has not been resurfaced since 1990!

The track only matches the rest of Delhi and the village half finished.

This is one of the most Boring telecasts - Prime time television and they have rank amateur boring and dull commentators. Well, in Queensland they do anyway. They spend more time talking then showing races.

These games will be remembered as the worst games EVER! I doubt that India will host any games of this magnitude ever again.

They’re still bidding for the Olympics - or so I believe.

Sri Lanka is the only city bidding against the Australian Gold Coast for the right to stage the Games after Glasgow. Sri Lanka failed to make a presentation in Delhi to the CGF - they weren’t ready to make one. If the CGF gives it to the Indian sub-continent again can we expect the same problems which have beset these Delhi Games?

When will they get it?

Scrap CG immediately.
Pick ONE country to hold all future OG.
Allow stakeholders from around the world to buy in.
Split the profit.
Allocate some % of the profit for the improvement of all facilities.

This way we know the standard would be high, climate appropriate, security intact.

I vote for Germany!

Delhi debacle could mark beginning of end for Games
Jake Niall
October 9, 2010

  Comments 16

An almost empty stadium at the men’s 100m qualification event.

An almost empty stadium at the men’s 100m qualification event. Photo: AFP

SWIMMERS have been ill, arousing fears they’ve been training in muddy waters. The ceiling of the weightlifting room collapsed, thankfully before competition, along with a bridge. The scoreboard at the rugby venue is falling down. Cobras have set up shop in the athletes’ village. Athletics judges threaten to strike. Nothing else works here, why should they?

But the greatest disaster of Delhi 2010 hasn’t been the litany of stuff-ups that defines these Games, as much as Ian Thorpe and Cathy Freeman defined Sydney 2000 and Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt were the poster boys of a pristine, totalitarian Beijing 2008. Delhi is chaos, Beijing was control.

Dysfunctional Delhi is the story, but, given that no one has died or been seriously injured to date, these many malfunctions aren’t the deepest cut to the prestige or viability of the Commonwealth Games. The major crisis is not that the stands are hastily erected, unsafe or dilapidated. It’s the fact that they’re empty.
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Delhi is hosting the Invisible Games. With one or two notable exceptions, such as the near full house for the India-Australia hockey match on Thursday evening, the athletes are performing invisible personal bests. In Beijing, Big Brother was watching you; in Delhi, it’s no one.

No amount of spin and comical denials from Delhi 2010’s chief ‘‘organiser’’ Suresh Kalmadi - who increasingly sounds like the Iraqi information minister from Gulf War II - can mask the stunning lack of interest from the locals. Kalmadi claimed 20,000 were at the opening night of track and field. The real number, from my vantage point, was more like 8000.

At some venues, there seems to be more uniformed men with guns - the security presence is overwhelming - than spectators. Little wonder that an Indian government minister suggested that free tickets be handed out (presumably en masse) to schoolchildren.

The vacant rows of seats wouldn’t be so damaging, though, if the television audience was large. An event such as the Commonwealth Games - based, as it is, on the flimsy pretext of pan-British connections - can remain relevant, strong and viable if it provides television networks with decent ratings; it can even be a virtual event, without spectators, given sufficient eyes on flat screens.

Alas, Delhi is not a box office success for TV, either. Ten’s ratings, thus far, are well down on both Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006. The audience numbers are reportedly about half of Melbourne, which is bad news, not just for Ten but for the institution of the Commonwealth Games.

Like the British monarchy, it is an institution that rests on its popularity; once television loses interest and revenues dry up, there’s a chance that the Commonwealth Games will shrivel into something closer to the Pan Pacs.

It’s not only the fans who’ve ignored the Commonwealth Games. Many of the leading athletes, such as Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, have stayed away. Some cite security concerns. More ominously, some have higher priorities. The English cycling team, for instance, is without several leading riders, who have given priority to major European events.

Delhi won’t be the last Commonwealth Games. But to borrow from one of the old British Empire’s defenders, Winston Churchill, its failure might be the beginning of the end.

BTW, I have not watched a single event and am not interested to see any of it (including the 100m event)… Appalling!

Maybe you should broaden your perspective. The atmosphere and the crowd for the woman’s 10000m final was electric.

I thoroughly enjoyed the T& F, wrestling, weightlifting, etc.

I heard a good interview from Liz Ellis former Oz Netball player on local radio who feels the representation of the games in the press is not accurate and that her experience of the CWG and Delhi has been fantastic.

Sharmer, we all have different standards, don’t we? :wink:

Athletics track invaded by stray dog
October 9, 2010 - 6:56PM

A stray dog is seen in the infield following the men’s 400m heats.

A stray dog is seen in the infield following the men’s 400m heats. Photo: AP

As if the problems couldn’t get worse for Commonwealth Games organisers, a stray dog evaded security and run amok inside the main athletics stadium on Saturday.

A women’s 400m hurdles heat was about to start when the mangy dog darted across the finish line and onto the field.

Initially, no-one made any effort to catch it before several officials tried cornering the mutt, who gave them the run around before darting out an exit as the crowd in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium erupted in laughter.
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AFP photographers said the dog had also been seen inside the arena earlier in the day before the competition started, playing with some cables.

It wasn’t just dogs that athletes had to deal with on Saturday, with large birds circling low over the stadium and swooping down on the field.

Despite their best efforts to keep mosquitoes away, the athletics stadium has been beset by insects, moths, cockroaches and some very large unidentified bugs that have been dropping down into the press tribune.


yeah it would be fair to say that to make the women’s 200m semi and run 25.7s is a bit of a joke…as is only 12 competitors in the men’s 110m H, and there are other events with similar size small fields.

Melbourne was far better, this has been one big shambles…

Congratulations to Sean Wroe, he wins the silver medal in 45.4 and has a A qualify for next years WC. SR only had fanstastic things to say about his CWG experience.

At least cycling has good coverage and commentators.
Really have not seen any track n field other than bits of Sally in the 100m n the drama that followed.
Oh that’s right, its a swimming meet.

At least cycling has good coverage and commentators.
Really have not seen any track n field other than bits of Sally in the 100m n the drama that followed.
Oh that’s right, its a swimming meet.