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Commonwealth Games 2014: A reminder that sport is meant to be fun | Sport

Commonwealth Games 2014: A reminder that sport is meant to be fun | Sport

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Published by creepylegacy9804

Sometimes it takes a sport you don't know at all to remind you just how universal is the lov

Sometimes it takes a sport you don't know at all to remind you just how universal is the lov

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Published by: creepylegacy9804 on Aug 02, 2014
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Commonwealth Games 2014: A reminder that sport is meantto be fun | Sport
Sometimes it takes a sport you don't know at all to remind you just how universal is the love of games. Glasgow's Commonwealth Games, like London's Olympics before it, has offered thoseopportunities in abundance. For me it was the lawn bowls, whose crowded greens made it hard for anovice to work out which piece of play was being applauded at any one time.Still, focusing in on the efforts of four portly men - who looked like the mates your dad goes toSantana gigs with - I realised that minn kota for sale you didn't need to be an expert. Anyone couldappreciate the sight of a wood sliding towards the jack with silent-but-deadly precision. Anyonecould enjoy the passion of the players waving it along with instructions to "Hurry, hurry! Squeezeup! Squeeeeze!"Being distanced by ignorance offers a perspective that our own private passions can renderimpossible. Leave your personal arena of knowledge behind - the academe of cricket statistics, thetyranny of transfer window updates - and you can see, at a distance, sport's primary, and enduring,purpose as entertainment. It doesn't matter if you're a professional or a semi-pro. Everyone at thebowls, whether they were in the crowd, or on the green, was pursuing a leisure activity.It was something that couldn't have been more apparent as you followed the families leaving thetrain station for Glasgow's SECC over the past week. There was nothing charged about thesecrowds: people of all sporting persuasions and none, ready to cheer for their own athletes but otherstoo.It struck me that this must have been what it was like in the days when the Victorians invented sport- the pre-tribal era, when games were still a rare day out, and a walk to Wembley wasn't laced withbitterness and danger. Before analysis of a football game became as complex as a stockbrokers' tipsheet, and match results were reported with the seriousness of world war. An afternoon at theweightlifting in the Armadillo was enough to confirm this: you didn't see many po-faces.
 At this particular Friendly Games, theorganisers have seemed determined toone-up London 2012 with theircheeriness. I've seen a mum feted like amedallist as she negotiated a double-buggy through security. I've seen apoliceman race an eight-year-old (andlose). As for the foam-fingered volunteers, their mission is clear. "TheClydesiders will get upset if you don'tgive them a high five," a Glaswegianaccent threatened through a Tannoy - you couldn't get 50m down a roadwithout being asked to go up top.Perhaps the entire city is on for somereward if their palm-slapping tallyoutdoes London's.It's just one of the successful elements of ThatShindig Two Years Ago that Glasgow hasincorporated, from the stirring pre-match montagesto the famous faces wishing you a safe journey fromthe giant screen as you leave. The only problem withrepeating "surprise and delight" features is that theydon't surprise as much the second time round, and itwas going to be impossible to recreate that Olympicspirit. Comparisons were always destined to beodious, as demonstrated perfectly by Usain Bolt's ill-fated conversation about Glasgow's damp charms.Being at the London Games felt not just like you'd won the lottery - with the ticket ballot this wastrue - but that the prize itself had been a trip to the moon. The Commonwealth Games was nevergoing to compete with that experience. It could have benefited from a bit of creative thinking, a littlemore originality. What the Commonwealths really has going it for it is that, unlike the Olympics, itcan afford to take itself less seriously. There was a great example at the medal ceremony for thewomen's team gymnastics, where the Australian firebrand Olivia Vivian led the crowd in a rousingchorus of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" from the podium. You can't see that happening in front of JacquesRogge.There's clearly a gap in the market here. The Olympics has become the Vichy government of sport. Itis propped up by the commercial interests it protects with the chilling efficiency of a police state,while earnestly waving its five-ringed flag and talking of "spirit" and "values". It proclaims itself above the "political" while enforcing its own message in a manner that amounts to censorship.How wonderful it would be if, in the future, the Commonwealths didn't attempt to ape its rich,glamorous cousin, but instead positioned itself as the anti-Olympics. Imagine it: an event whereeveryone agreed to admit that sport was about having fun, not the pursuit of long-compromised

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