By Matthew Bullin
It has been widely documented that London 2012 was a little bit of a success. A reason to be optimistic and happy, as the country revelled in the popularity of the Olympic Games on a worldwide level, as well as the extraordinary achievements of the GB athletes, most of which emerged from obscurity to become household names.
So understandably there was a lot of uncertainty in the lead up to the Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth Games. How could it possibly live up to the daily countrywide euphoria that the Olympics caused? Would the athletes of the home nations triumph again? Would the tickets get sold?
Well frankly I think that Glasgow 2014 has been a success. Nowhere near the levels of London 2012 but it has undoubtedly been a success.
The tickets haven’t sold as quickly or as in entirety as in 2012, but the majority of the events have been attended very well, and the atmosphere has been almost on par according to some of the athletes.
Without the big name athletes of USA and China, amongst others who weren’t part of Britain’s Empire, some may have thought that the games would lose the interest of the public.
But the home nations athletes have once again done well, England and Scotland being particularly successful. And despite the fact many big names such as: Chris Hoy (retired), Jess Ennis (maternity leave from sport) and Mo Farah (pulled out due to sickness) have not competed there has still been an overwhelming support for the athletes.
And athletes from all over England and Scotland have responded, delivering gold, silver and bronzes all across the sporting schedule. Even athletes from our small corner of the country have been weighing in with medals.
Despite doing judo as a hobby in my younger years (and winning two trophies thank you very much), I didn’t know there was such a hotbed of talent from Shropshire. Shrewsbury born Sarah Adlington, who now competes for Scotland, won gold and Danny Williams, also of Shrewsbury, claimed his own gold medal for England. Completing the Shropshire set Telford born Kelly Edwards also brought home silver losing out controversially in her final.
But the talent is also in the pool where Chris Walker- Hebborn, sponsored by Shrewsbury-based My Staff Shop, who swims for Ellesmere Titans took gold in the 100m backstroke. And unrelated to Shropshire athletes, but an old school mate of mine Ben Proud won two golds for England in the 50m butterfly and freestyle, and is eyeing up more in his upcoming events (he always was a bit more competitive in the school swimming gala).
One of the most interesting parts of the Commonwealth Games though is the rivalry it sparks between the Home nations athletes, it’s a bit like watching a Scotland v England football match in some ways, as they stare each other down at the start gate or across the judo mat. But seeing as the Commonwealths are known as ‘The Friendly Games’, thankfully there has been no scenes akin to Euro 96 just yet.
All in all though from what I’ve seen of the Commonwealths they have done as well as they could be expected to, without the big name athletes and with the potential hangover of the Olympics. But it must be said as much as Gary Lineker and Clare Balding big up the games on the television, they just don’t seem as special as London 2012.
For more information about My Staff Shop, which sponsors athlete Chris Walker-Hebborn, see http://www.gee7.co.uk/mystaffshop
J&PR are a Shropshire PR agency covering Shrewsbury, Telford, north Shropshire, south Shropshire and parts of Mid and North Wales. As well as working with businesses, organisations and events across the region on PR campaigns J&PR run regular DIY PR Training Courses and DIY Digital PR Training Courses at venues in the county.