Sport

Sleep well, Glasgow, and rise to a glorious new day

BY CHRISTOPHER SAMUDA

Saturday, August 09, 2014    

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GLASGOW is certainly not unfamiliar with glorious feats in sport and riveting events which have captured and ignited hearts and the imagination of peoples of the world in a way that is ineffable. The spirit of the XX Commonwealth Games embodied this and more.

The city's Hampden Park witnessed the Closing Ceremony of the Games. It was indeed the close of an event which had its genesis in the intent to propagate values of an empire which once coalesced diverse cultures and peoples in a Westminster designed body politic. Those values, expressed in the camaraderie of the Games, continue to resonate. However, the Glasgow Games went beyond this, re-affirming the fact that sport is a unifying force and a game-changer.

The ethos of Scotland, which understandably characterised the Opening Ceremony, gave way to a modern music and dance extravaganza in the Closing Ceremony infused with firework displays, accented by continual rays of light and lighting effects and characterised by a plethora of colours.

The script was Scottish but the themes were decidedly international and all-embracing and, when the curtains came down, they were distilled emotionally in the nostalgic and celebrated Robert Burns' 1788 Auld Lang Syne.

Jamaica played its part laudably in the success of the Games and, as expected, was the most admired brand with the Honourable Ambassador, once again, taking it infectiously to the world. Our impact, though authoritative, was amiable and our athletes and coaches across the disciplines, must all be saluted for humanising, strengthening and globalising Brand Jamaica.

We must now, more than ever, be inspired to create and build a legacy, uniquely Jamaican in character yet universal in its vision. In this regard, we are indeed a nation on a mission and therefore the narrative of, and the landmarks established on our pilgrimage must exemplify this.

The city of Glasgow has now fallen quietly asleep after three weeks of animated interactions, the emotions of success and failure, logistic dreams fulfilled and nightmares remedied. It, however, sleeps with the assurance that the once rustic shipbuilding yard now a commercial centre has given the Commonwealth and the world a vocabulary and rationale as to why cultural, social, racial, political and religious differences must yield to an international language of co-operation and comity. Sleep restfully, Glasgow, for when morning inevitably gilds the skies you will arise with pride at your achievements.

Editor's note: Christopher Samuda, who attended the XX Glasgow Commonwealth Games, is secretary general of the Jamaica Olympic Association.

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