For a while I had thought that my last blog was behind me, however, some weeks clear of the Commonwealth Games, I’m thinking it might be a good thing to keep this going. So, before it’s a distant echo in the past, here are my thoughts on Glasgow 2014.
Firstly, I thought the games were a massive success. In the shadow of the Olympics it would have been easy to fudge the Commonwealths, but they were run amazingly, the people of Glasgow and Scotland got behind everyone and helped create a huge sense of occasion and a grand stage on which the athletes from all sports delivered some spectacular performances.
The crowds were amazing, not just in judo, getting behind all the home athletes and the minnows, those from the tiny island nations. I was lucky enough to be in the arena to hear the cheers of the crowd at seeing Kiribati’s David Kataotau winning weightlifting, and the delight as Hampden roared Lynsey Sharpe home to a Silver medal. The spectators at the Judo, however, were above and beyond. The appreciation and love they showed as their fighters appeared in the medal matches was something I am sure everyone will remember long after their competitive careers are over.
The Scottish team were sensational, with 13 medals it was their best ever Games, and were pipped by the English team to the medal top spot by a single silver medal.
I found it an emotional rollercoaster, especially the first day, the delight of seeing everyone perform brilliantly and win medals mingled with (on occasion) being close to tears as the realisation hit home of what I was missing out on. It was great to see everyone do well, but I was happiest and even proud to see the performances of James Millar and Matt Purssey, and equally devastated that Pat (Dawson) missed out in the hardest way possible. Still, on a positive note for Pat, it’s not like they would put up a life size poster of the whole team with medals and smiles just outside the gym where you train everyday of your life. 😉
On a personal note I had been planning to call it a day following the Commonwealths, however, the buzz of the crowd and general good feeling around the tournament has left me wondering if Rio isn’t too far around the corner. Returning from my knee rehab is still a long way off, but there could be plenty of time to hunt for qualification, so who knows what next year might bring!