Samir Sachdeva | October 4, 2010
“An ancient land opens its heart to the world,“ ran the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald. The report on the Commonwealth Games 2010 opening ceremony went on to say that the grand opening - minus any expected hiccups - came as a surprise.
The world media which had been critical of the arrangements for CWG was astonished at the spectacular start which was witnessed by over 60,000 spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. The ceremony - lauded nationally and internationally - was the perfect anticlimax to fears that the reports on CEG corruption, mismanagement and delays had drummed up.
After incidences of a footoverbridge falling, collapsing roofs, stray dogs taking up lodging in theGames village, levels of hygiene, nepotism, vanishing volunteers and high level corruption, India put up a good show at the opening.
The opening ceremony had over 7,000 performers, a Rs 38 cr helium balloon, over 2,700 fireworks. With the success of the event India has proved its competence to the world. With the high-quality sports infrastructure in place, India could consider bidding for a mega sporting event, say the Olympics (CWG organising committee chairperson Suresh Kalmadi is already pitching for it). But at the same time, our bitter experience of the months leading upto the few hours of the opening ceremony should put paid to any such wants. The agonising traffic snarls, the snail-paced roadworks and other infrastructure-works, corruption hitting the fan - these could be decisive deterrents.
So, does our CWG experience (in its progress so far) hold a promise for Olympic dreams? Is it time for India to bid for the Olympics?
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