TIME TO GET ON BOARD
YOU’VE GOT TO BE IN IT TO WIN IT: WHETHER YOU'RE IN THE THICK OF IT OR TUNING IN ON YOUR TV SCREENS, THIS IS OUR TIME TO SHINE
Informer’s earliest memory of the Commonwealth Games is watching Ron Clarke in the 10,000 metres at Edinburgh in 1970. I watched it with my mother, who told me about Ron lighting the flame at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
She reckoned he deserved to win a gold medal at Olympic or Commonwealth level, although she also warned he was better against the clock than against actual people, especially in the big meets. So it proved again in Edinburgh. Ron was rounded up by Scottish spoilsport Lachie Stewart and finished second. Around 40 years later, Ron helped light the flame of inspiration that won the Gold Coast hosting rights for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
He was mayor back then and I’m sure he’d love to see how things turned out.
The Games, of course, are now under way and Informer is thrilled to be playing a minor role down at the Gold Coast Media Centre.
My HQ is Kurrawa Beach, where the view of sand and sea makes a pleasant change from the blander, non-coastal environs of my usual office. There’s a friendly atmosphere, gallons of coffee and, hooray, proper milk.
My only issue is an ID photo in which I resemble someone convicted of a capital crime that I didn’t commit, but Mrs Informer probably did.
Word is that Prince Charles may drop by. It’ll be nice to catch up. We met 35 years and one week ago when he visited Launceston. I’m sure he’ll remember. I was the one with the grey suit and a ranga mullet.
I gather he’s as happy as me to be on the Gold Coast at this time. Sure, the naysayers continue to gripe about the Games being an inconvenience and a waste, but naysaying is such laziness. What pleasure or purpose do its purveyors take from it? Like, the other day I was on the tram and it was akin to a little Games Village.
Among the passengers were members of the Indian shooting team, a couple of Scottish delegates, half a dozen volunteer “Games Shapers” and various other athletes and officials in their national livery. Outside the tram it was pouring; inside it was all sunshine.
Informer’s attitude towards the Games is equally bright, a case of embrace, celebrate and welcome. What’s more, I know people who have helped put this thing together. I know them and trust them. I’m not saying there won’t be issues, but there is also excitement and potential. Like the tram, I’m on board.
People at the media centre are on board too. I’ve met visitors from England, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Scotland and Fiji. They’re not only interested in the Games; they’re interested in the city and the region.
Sure, the Games are just a couple of days in and anything can happen, from dire to dazzling. My view is this: why not believe in dazzling? All of which brings Informer back to Ron Clarke, who never won a gold medal at a major international meet.
Perhaps these Commonwealth Games will be the event to change that, at least by extension and in spirit.
This is a big moment for the Gold Coast. I say back it, don’t whack it. Opportunity is the name of the Games. A better, bolder and more positive city is the legacy.
“WORD IS THAT PRINCE CHARLES MAY DROP BY. IT’LL BE NICE TO CATCH UP.”