A grand Games opening and an abundance of medals

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There seems to be divided opinion about the merits of the opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games with many of you unhappy about the ceremony being too geared to accommodating Glasgow’s cultural interests.

I can only say for goodness sake what do you curmudgeons expect? The event is, after all, being hosted in Glasgow.

My own view, for what it is worth, is that I thought the whole two hours was full of magical images, quality music - okay Rod Stewart is well past it - and pawky Scottish humour, all designed to present a great profile of our biggest city.

Poking fun at themselves being an endearing part of the ‘weegie’ mentality, including the gay kiss, redefining the better known Glasgow kiss forever.

I also thought the clips from George Square were truly wonderful, but anyway you have by this time got the message that I thoroughly enjoyed the show, as indeed did HM who did the city the honour of officially opening the games. She even managed to humanise the royal family, openly freshening up her lipstick as she waited patiently to declare Glasgow 2014 well and truly launched.

So what if there was a little bother when it came to opening the baton in order that she could share her message with a billion or viewers.

What is not in dispute is the fact that what followed was nothing short of miraculous, as Scotland landed medal after medal, many of which were against the odds.

Our own Hannah Miley being a case in point, successfully defending the title she won in Delhi four years ago.

Before the games I forecast the home nation would win up to 40 medals, but never in my wildest dreams did I envisage the gold rush of the early days of the games. Looking ahead is more difficult, especially when it comes to the legacy we can expect to enjoy.

I would like to think every sport in the land, including sports not even part of the 17 we have been watching on TV will get a boost, though the realist in me seriously doubts this will be the case. The warning bells are already ringing, not least at Parkhead and Hampden where both running tracks will be lifted to accommodate the great god of football, and dare I suggest its unsuccessful march to the midden.

So while the First Minister will continue his politicising of the games, I would suggest he would be better occupied ensuring that funding is in place for sports of all hues to flourish in the years ahead.

The bar has been raised to a level none of us could have expected, it is now a question of making sure we continue to make sure standards do not slip.

Sport is a vital and healthy way to keep us on our collective toes, but let us participate with a smile, after all it is supposed to be fun.

Glasgow has at least shown what is possible if we don’t take ourselves too seriously.