“It is a spectacular, pure and simple.”The Times (UK)

“It was easily the most lavish spectacle ever staged to open a Games,
encompassing not only the massive MCG stadium and its 80,000 enthralled
fanatics but the vibrant, excited city surrounding it. The cool, clear
Melbourne night was ablaze with more than 8,800 pyrotechnic effects,
not only in repeated synchronized blasts around the ring of the stadium
roof, but along the banks of the Yarra River for a distance of five
kilometres, where another 80,000 people lined the shores, and from the
rooftops of skyscrapers downtown.” – James Christie, Canada’s Globe and Mail


“The most popular benefit of hosting a Commonwealth Games, in other
words, is that you might get an Olympics or a World Cup afterwards. If
you’re not convinced by now, however, then it is possible that the
Commonwealth Games may actually be completely pointless.” – Leo Benedictus, The Guardian.

“The opening ceremony was a dazzling spectacle of music, light and
dance inspired by a poem by one of Australia’s best-loved artists
Michael Leunig… Earlier the Queen, who has been touring Australia for
the past week, had to cut short a planned walkabout in Melbourne
following a lunch hosted by Mr Howard, after a small demonstration by
supporters of aborigines’ rights.”The Scotsman

“With Melbourne living and breathing Aussie Rules football in the same
way Canadians do hockey, the city took its time to embrace the Games.
But with ticket sales picking up in recent days and some 15,000 smiling
volunteers willing to help, Melbourne is living up to its reputation as
a friendly, cultured sports-mad city.” – Julie Scott, TheToronto Star

“Surreal giant koalas, a tram with wings and aerial ballerinas were
the highlights of the two-and-half hour sound and light spectacle,
watched by an estimated 1.5 billion global audience… The splash of
colour, haunting music and incredible technology left the spectators
spellbound.”The Statesman (India)

“Games chiefs will not admit it – they insist they are all good
Australians – but they hope that the event means that more tourists
come to Melbourne rather than Sydney. And if the Games are as good as
they say they will be, in the next few years, Sydney tourism officials
might be asking visitors “Where the bloody hell are you?”.”Belfast Telegraph

“Some commentators have dismissed the Commonwealth Games as irrelevant
and doomed to failure. Because in a professional era where money talks,
a competition like the Commonwealths which offers no financial
incentive, just the pride of winning and representing your country, is
in danger of becoming an outdated concept… But now whatever the
charges, Melbourne has a vital role in
revitalising the essence of this sporting spectacle. And if there is
any city in the old Empire that can revitalise the Commonwealth Games
it is this one.”icWales

Peter Fray

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