Personally, I couldn’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness a sporting event of such magnitude. And hence, I booked my tickets for the games well in advance so that I could be a part of the extravaganza.
Though I missed the grand ‘Opening Ceremony’ (as I couldn’t get past the ‘sold-out’ status on the tickets website) there was still lots to experience and enjoy during the events. And Delhi was wonderfully decorated, ready to play host to 70 countries from around the world.
As expected, the ‘Games-venues’ & stadiums were simply magnificent leading to a more than pleasant viewing experience. I had no problem in traveling between different venues, thanks to the efficient ‘Delhi Metro’ which had provided free conveyance to ticket holders during the games.
The many layered security was right on the mark but posed no problems to the viewers. The security personnel all around were vigilant, quick and polite which was sort of a pleasant surprise as compared to that at any cricket ground around India. The young and enthusiastic ‘CWG-volunteers’ were more than helpful and made sure that the spectators faced no problems during the games.
The combination of all these things made for an unforgettable sporting experience where people could admire the talent and hard work of the sportspersons. That was and should have been the centre of attraction of ‘Delhi 2010’.
Before the games had even begun, some people had started a sort of campaign to boycott the games. Just because some corrupt officials of the CWG Organizing Committee had bungled up crores of Government money, people were ready to punish the athletes who had worked hard for years to perform at such an event. The same people would be more than delirious in support when India hosts the Cricket World Cup in early 2011. And then they cry out that sports other than cricket are not supported in India. Simply ridiculous !
But the games went on and were a resounding success which is aptly exemplified by the performance of the Indian athletes who returned with more than hundred medals. And there were even more of them who missed a medal by a whisker. And also those who participated and performed their best. Wouldn’t it have been a great dis-service to all those players and athletes by crying for a boycott of the games itself ?
People shout if some corrupt government officials run away with the tax-payers money. But they are happy to go crazy after an IPL where a certain Lalit Modi scams into thousands of crores just by himself.
It is time people shunned these double standards and catch hold of the corrupt officials instead of trying to demoralize the athletes for no fault of theirs. People find it very comfortable to voice their opinion from the comforts of their homes or offices. But never do they consider the amount of hard work the players put in their training.
Just for an example, Ashwini Akkunji (one of the winners of the women’s 4 X 400m relay gold) hadn’t been to her home for the past one year just in order to train for the games.
It was a moving experience to be in the various stadiums watching the players perform their best to bring glory to their respective countries. It is a heavenly experience when thousands of people stand in respect to one’s national anthem as a result of one’s excellence in his or her sport. And every winner in the CWG 2010 has been lucky to experience just that.
The games were not about money or economy or officials or politicians or anything of the sort. They were about sports and the sportspersons. The sportspersons were and are the real heroes of the games and we should acknowledge their efforts and the glory they have brought to their nation.
The following is a small clip I have created which I dedicate to all Indian sportspersons who have brought glory to India and will continue to do so for times to come.