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SO THE XXI Commonwealth Games have come to a close with an amazing best ever effort by the Australian team with a medal haul of gigantic proportions - 80 golds, 59 silver and 59 bronze, for a total of 198 medals.

The next best effort was to England with 45 gold, 45 silver and 46 bronze. A really stunning achievement
by the Australian team with heaps of records being broken and what will be known for some time as Australia’s best Commonwealth Games. But it wasn’t perhaps the best for the organising committee which
has come under significant criticism for the way it approached both the opening ceremony and, perhaps even worse, the closing ceremony.

Commonwealth Games, like the Olympic Games, are meant to be all about the athletes and sport. It seems that those in charge of the closing ceremony and the broadcasting of it either forgot about that or got so stuck in their own creative bubble that they managed to “stuff up” so badly. I used the term “stuff up” as that was the term used in response to the criticism by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman and former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie. That’s all well and good that the chairman takes the hit and apologises, but you can’t do a go-over of a closing ceremony of a Commonwealth Games, you only get one shot at it and unfortunately the Gold Coast version will go
down in history as a royal stuff up.

In the end, it is now what it is, and it is over for another four years when the athletes will gather once again in Birmingham, England, in 2022 for the XXII Commonwealth Games. No doubt over the course of the next
four years plenty of debate and concentration will be placed on what an opening and closing ceremony should look like. We can only hope that lessons will be learnt and improvements made so that the next time the Commonwealth countries get together, they get it right.

On a final note and importantly, I don’t think any of the controversy impacted on the quality of the games themselves and of course for the athletes it is about their individual performances and medals. Well done
to all involved.