I don’t know why, but the enthusiastic coverage of the current Commonwealth Games belies the reality that these events are viewed by the media as really second class compared to the Olympics and the World Cup. B class medal holders are dragged to our screens as pundits, trying to give a boost to an event that may well have lost its focus. Radio 5 live did a survey on the streets of Edinburgh asking what people though the Commonwealth was. The lack of understanding said it all!
They call these the “friendly games”, but don’t tell the competitors that. These are young men and women, from many nations, who are desperate to win. Their day to day existence depends on the sponsorship money that they can attract and attract they will if they are successful.
They have worked hard, trained hard and probably bought equipment that has cost somebody a fortune. They might appear friendly in the media but look in to their eye on the start line, friendliness has been left in the dressing room.
Having said that, there is an element of coming along and taking part. Teams from Kiribati, the Falkland Islands and Anguilla have all taken part in recent years and never gone home with even the sniff of a medal.
In an ideal world the strong wouldn’t be out there oppressing the less strong, the rich taking food from the poor. Maybe we should all visit Kiribati, they seem to have some of their priorities right.
Just a thought!