India bids good bye with colourful ceremony to best ever Commonwealth Games

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By Victor D’Souza, Doha
Various sources
Bellevision Media Network

Friday, 15 October 2010: Fireworks sparkled the cool evening air of Delhi on Thursday 14 October 2010, embarking on a new promise of sporting excellence as the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony kept its promise to the world. A dazzling laser show and a musical extravaganza marked the finale of the Commonwealth Games, the biggest sporting event hosted by India which crowned itself with sporting glory by winning an unprecedented 101 medals. Skies over the national capital lit with multi-colour laser beams and fireworks as part of 160-minute closing ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium filled to capacity of 60,000 cheering sports lovers.


The ceremony began with the arrival of dignitaries who included the Prime Minister, the Vice President, UPA chairperson, CGF chief Michael Fennell, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the guest of honour, as well as other VIPs. The Indian national anthem was played as the packed stand stood up in respect to mark the beginning of the closing ceremony. Pyros took off from the roof of the stadium giving a delightful sight as countdown in Devanagri script opened up the proceedings with the crowd roaring from the stands.


There was much excitement and euphoria in store when a tribute was paid to the India’s sporting spirit, aptly titled Agni - a segment that featured the fiery and passionate tradition of the country’s martial arts. Chants of Agni shloka preceded eight martial art forms - Kalaripayattu, Naga warriors, Thangta, Gatka, Silambam, Akhara, Dhan Patta, Talwar Raas - that enthralled the audience as skies lit up with dazzling fireworks.


Fourteen military bands, 17 pipes and drums of various regiments and batallions of the Indian Army performed in unison as pigeons were set free. Dressed in white, 2010 Delhi school children paid tribute to the motherland performing to the tunes of Vande Mataram as they took positions to form rangoli pattern and Ashoka chakra on the field. The performers sprinkled the tri-colour of Indian flags, signifying the festival of Holi in what turned out to be a visual delight.




In a surprise package, the Games volunteers, Delhi United, chugged into the stadium making a beeline in a display of Indian Railways legacy. Flags of the 71 participating nations with ace shooter Gagan Narang holding the Indian tricolour entered the field together as one big contingent, signifying the bonds and friendships formed during the Games.


Saina Nehwal, who won the singles badminton title in the morning, accompanied Narang during the flag’s march-past. Athletes march-past followed as the biggest Indian contingent danced in jubilation while entering the arena. The official mascot of the Games, Shera, was given an emotional farewell as he went around the stadium accompanied by singer Shaan.


Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi in is speech said the Games had given a new beginning to Indian sports. "The sporting extravaganza has ended," he said. "But it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning. For India, it’s a new beginning in sports," he said as the packed stadium cheered as well as jeered to Kalmadi’s few remarks. The ceremonial flag handover segment began with Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit saying, "In a few moments, the ceremonial flag will be entrusted to your care so that in due time you deliver it to Glasgow."


Official representative of the 2014 host city, Robert Winter, who is the Lord Provost of Glasgow, said, "This duty I willingly undertake to fulfil," as the Games flag was lowered with an Army band in the background. The otherwise vociferous spectators were stunned in silence in an emotional moment of sorts as they bade farewell to the Games 2010. Kalmadi received the flag before handing it over to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna who in turn gave it to Winter.




Scottish performers soon took the centrestage proudly showcasing their country’s spirit, culture and heritage in a 10-minute Glasgow segment. The performers began with a lone piper as the spotlight soon shifted to a giant structure that inflated and the Clyde Arc Bridge with the Armadillo and River Clyde flowing underneath was created, leaving all and sundries mesmerised.


In between, the Games president, Fennell, presented the David Dixon Award Jamaican triple jumper gold medallist Trecia Smith. Named after the former secretary of the CGF, the award instituted in 2002 is given to the outstanding athlete of each of the Commonwealth Games based on their performance. In all-praise of Delhi, Games president also said, "Delhi you have delivered a truly exceptional Games. Thank you Delhi," as the 12-day sporting spectacle was declared closed by Prince Edward.


Soon a seven-minute laser show accompanied by heart-thumping music was the order of the day. A 30-minute segment titled ’Music of Universal Love’ featuring renowned Indian singers and musicians mesmerized the crowd in the final leg of the ceremony. It began with DJs performing with 1000 dancers on five stages of the field in an electrifying atmosphere with a 25 stacks of speakers blaring 500,000 Watts of sound.


Musicians Taufique Qureshi, dhol players Kamal Sabri, Niladri Kumar, Bikram Ghosh, Sivamani and Raghav Sachar performed in the event. There was also further entertainment from singers Kailash Kher, Zila Khan, Sukhwinder, Ila Arun, Usha Uthup, Shiamak Davar, Shankar Mahadevan, Shubha Mudgal, Sunidhi Chauhan and Sreeram who belted out some Indian chartbursters.





Going back to the Games events, it has been raining Gold, Silver and Bronze for Indian sportspersons at this Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi. Fields as diverse as Shooting, Wrestling, Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Tennis etc. have seen Indians shine and bag medals, while Delhi sees its name being inscribed in the history books as the host of the largest Commonwealth Games, the third-biggest sports event on this planet after Olympics and FIFA World Cup.


Each time when India won gold medal, watching our national flag rise above the rest is the best feeling. This CWG has certainly made some impact in our country and in the years to come India will surely emerge as one of the super power in sports. Kids from small villages and towns will come out and play these sports and they should. Because, it is only sports that connect everyone, the rich and the poor, the big and the small. Sports can spread the message of unity among states, regions as well as languages and can bring about of lot of changes in India.



Comments on this Article
Suresh Kumar, Pithrodi Sat, October-16-2010, 11:19
Salute to all the athletes, sports persons who made this country proud, we the people of India love you and support you, for the hard work and the determination you have shown. Yes, there were obstacles, the games organizing was below standards, we cannot just ignore all those, but.... I believe this could just be the turning point for Indian sports, let us give the support to them through whatever way we can. We have enough talent, let us explore those talents and show to the world, that we Indians are not far behind.
Vincent Martis, Belle / Kuwait Sat, October-16-2010, 10:08
In my opinion, the games were a true reflection of what India is. It represents our rich culture, tradition, hospitality, willingness and capability. Though the empty stands during the games, which also represent our ignorance to other sports apart from a game of cricket. At the end of it all, I am happy because India as a nation has been so true to the entire world in representing what India is all about.
Fr. Matthew F. D Souza, Kattingere/USA Fri, October-15-2010, 3:35
Very impressive
Tressa, Mumbai Fri, October-15-2010, 7:27
Good writeup with excellent pictures.
Albert Monis, Udyavara / Jeddah Fri, October-15-2010, 7:04
Now what shall we do with Manishankar Iyer. Politics and games are two different things. Why these people mixed both the things and tarnished the countrys image on international picture.. And CWG preparations have been going on since last 4-5 years. It became a fashion making controversies just before movie releases, just before event commencements etc.
Antony Menezes, Shirva Fri, October-15-2010, 6:27
Bands were awesome followed with laser show and music extravaganza. I felt proud to be an Indian while watching it in TV. The same media criticized India like anything and it ends up with all praise.
Winifred Lobo, Manipal Fri, October-15-2010, 4:48
Putting everything aside, the Indian performers did a great job. Kudos to all who worked hard in spite of the chaos and criticism. India has it we just have to put it together.
Zita, New Delhi. Fri, October-15-2010, 4:18
Its enough a task to have 50,000 ppl get up on their feet, have another 50 million sit in awe.. creat positive outcomes despite all the crapping before.. WELL DONE CWG Delhi 2010..WELL DONE!!!
Philip D Souza, Qatar Thu, October-14-2010, 11:17
A collage of color here, Victor. Jus like in Delhi..;D
Eugene D Souza, Moodubelle Thu, October-14-2010, 9:19
This is a wonderful narrative of the closing ceremony of the just concluded Commonwealth Games at Delhi by Victor D Souza and the sequential pictures appropriately compliment the report. Besides, Victor had been giving day-to-day report and medal tally of the CWG for the last 12 days. This has been a great contribution and painstaking work that Victor has done for the benefit of the Bellevision readers. Thank you Victor for your great work in reporting the entire proceedings of the Nineteenth Commonwealth Games at Delhi.
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