September 27, 2010 | by  |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Commonwealth Games Joke No Laughing Matter

If further proof was needed that the Commonwealth Games really is a farcical competition, the uproar of the last few days should provide just that. While the absence of sporting superpowers China and USA lends itself to New Zealand success, the reality is the Games are just the poor man’s version of the Olympics. The outcry at the lack of preparedness of Delhi threatens to derail and embarrass the nation before a race is run or a shot is put.

Delhi won the rights to host the Games in November 2003. With seven years to plan and prepare, one would hope that the simple matters of player accommodation would be ready to roll. New Zealand’s delegation has already expressed its dismay at the substandard hygiene of lodgings that await the athletes. Commonwealth Games chief Mike Fennell noted that they “expected a clean environment for the athletes to prepare”. Lalit Bhanon, organising committee spokesman for the Games, argued that “foreigners have different standards of cleanliness”. Fair enough. But you had seven years, Bhanon!

Aside from major health risks, there are additional fears about safety and security. On Sunday, two Taiwanese tourists were shot in the host city. A car bomb has luckily left no-one injured. Beyond the cleanliness, there are the basic ‘necessities’ of plumbing, furnishing, and mobile telephone coverage that need to be addressed. The collapse of a bridge near a Games venue has also added to the concerns of participating countries; England has had top athletes withdraw, with more threatening to pull out. The attempts that have been made to ‘improve’ the city’s image have not gone without notice. A Delhi slum, home to over 2,000 people, was razed to the ground following the construction of the Leela Palace Kempinski hotel, which lies just metres from the squatter settlement. Residents are now homeless and hopeless.

Boycotts are nothing new to international sporting competitions. However, the refusal of athletes to participate at the Commonwealth Games casts doubt on the tournament’s legitimacy, reputation, and value. World discus champion Dani Samuels has withdrawn from the Australian team, citing safety concerns. Gold was not worth risking her life for, she explained. The athletes are there to compete, admittedly, not for a luxury holiday. But the off-field sideshows could be too much of a distraction for the sports men and women.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. Tumuaki
  2. Ngā Rangahautira
  3. Ngā Taura Umanga
  4. Ngā Pou o Ngāi Tauira
  5. Te Hōhaieti o te reo Māori ki Wikitōria
  6. Te Kura Reo ki te Ūpoko o te Ika
  7. Pūrangiaho
  8. Ingoa Kārangaranga
  9. Yarn With Zwaan
  10. Te Ao Mārama

Most popular

  1. The police are decriminalising weed in New Zealand 846 views
  2. Would You Chop Up a Giraffe? 125 views
  3. Taking My Mother Along To See Pinky Fang 123 views
  4. Happy Birthday Lindsay Lohan—An Interview With Claire Harris 70 views
  5. Puffer Jackets 52 views
  6. Can the Hipster Survive in Wellington? 50 views
  7. The Discontinuation Method 45 views
  8. Ingoa Kārangaranga 32 views
  9. Beautiful Bodies 29 views
  10. The Übermensch 24 views
weed

Editor's Pick

The police are decriminalising weed in New Zealand

: Why have cannabis-related arrests halved while use has remained the same? There’s a simple answer: the Police are decriminalising cannabis in New Zealand