Glitzy open­ing cer­e­mony kicks off Glas­gow CWG

The Political and Business Daily - - SPORTS - PHILEM DI­PAK SINGH

SACHIN Ten­dulkar and Bol­ly­wood mu­sic pro­vided the In­dian con­nect as Scot­land ush­ered in the 20th Com­mon­wealth Games with a daz­zling and colour­ful open­ing cer­e­mony which cel­e­brated the coun­try's cul­ture and her­itage to set the ball rolling for the 11-day sport­ing ex­trav­a­ganza.

Wel­com­ing over 4500 ath­letes from 71 Com­mon­wealth na­tions, the cer­e­mony had its share of som­bre moments when si­lence was ob­served for the 298 vic­tims of the Malaysian Air­lines flight which was shot down over Ukraine last week.

A sur­pris­ingly sub­dued Glas­gow sud­denly sprang to life and ex­u­ber­ance with a three-hour mes­meris­ing show of light and sound and colour­ful hues which the or­gan­is­ers claimed was watched by more than one bil­lion peo­ple.

As per con­ven­tion, the head of Com­mon­wealth coun­tries Queen El­iz­a­beth II de­clared the Games Open.

"It is my great­est pleas- ure to de­clare the 20th Com­mon­wealth Games open" Her Majesty said un­der a blue Glas­gow sky to sig­nal Scot­land's third CWG and first af­ter 1986 when Duke of Edinburgh played host.

A host of dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, Scot­tish govern­ment's first min­is­ter Alex Sal­mond and Com­mon­wealth Games Fed­er­a­tion Pres­i­dent Prince Im­ran Tunku also added to the start of Scot­land's big­gest sport­ing event which is es­ti­mated to have cost the host coun­try around USD one bil­lion.

Bri­tain's most suc­cess­ful Olympian cy­clist and a Scot him­self, Sir Chris Hoy was given the hon­our of pre­sent­ing the Queens Ba­ton to Her Majesty who read out her mes­sage to the Com­mon­wealth be­fore declar­ing open the Games to be com­peted for 11 days among 4929 ath­letes from 71 na­tions and ter­ri­to­ries of the erst­while Bri­tish Em­pire.

In­dia got some at­ten­tion with cricket icon Sachin Ten­dulkar turn­ing up in a brief video clip, urg­ing peo­ple to do­nate for the im­prove­ment of the liv­ing con­di­tion of chil­dren through­out the world in his role as the Global Good­will Am­bas­sador of UNICEF which part­nered with Glas­gow 2014 in a first-ofits-kind ini­tia­tive.

The In­dian con­tin­gent headed by flag-bearer and Olympic sil­ver medal­list shooter Vi­jay Ku­mar led the Pa­rade of Na­tions, by virtue of be­ing hosts in 2010 Delhi edi­tion. The the men looked dap­per in black blaz­ers and Gray trousers along with head­gear while the women ath­letes were dressed in saris.—

In­dian con­tin­gent march­ing past at Celtic Park dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony of CWG in Glas­gow, Scot­land —PTI pho­tos

(L-R) A gen­eral view as fire­works light up the sky at Celtic Park dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony of Com­mon­wealth Games.

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