Thursday, 24 July 2014

News: Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games begin

The XX Commonwealth Games officially began last night with a spectacular opening ceremony at Celtic Park in Glasgow.


40,000 spectators watched the celebrations live, which included performances from Scottish stars such as Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and Amy McDonald, and a range of Scottish clich├ęs – including dancing Tunnock’s teacakes, a giant Loch Ness monster inflatable and a replica of Glasgow’s Duke of Wellington statue.
John Barrowman and Karen Dunbar took the audience on a “tour” of Scotland before Scottish terriers led each participating nation as they entered the stadium.

Scottish actor James McAvoy fronted an appeal from UNICEF during the ceremony, asking viewers to donate simultaneously via text. Over £3.1 million was raised overnight. There was also a silence in memory of the victims of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash – a third of whom were from Commonwealth nations.

The night ended with speeches from the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, and the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Prince Imran of Malaysia. The Queen also read the message she placed in the Baton at the start of its relay of the Commonwealth Nations.

The night wasn’t entirely without mishap, as Prince Imran struggled to open the Baton containing the Queen’s message. Barrowman also controversially kissed another man during the performance. It is a crime to be gay in 42 of the Commonwealth nations. Barrowman has since received both support and criticism through Twitter.

Glasgow won their bid to host the Games in 2007. They will now take place for 11 days before concluding in a closing ceremony at Hampden Park, Scotland’s national stadium.

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