Commonwealth Games 2018: Chief organiser apologies for closing ceremony debacle, says things didn't work out as planned

Gold Coast, Australia: Gold Coast Commonwealth Games chief Peter Beattie admits organisers botched Sunday's closing ceremony, accepting criticism that long-winded speeches had fans rushing for the exits while athletes were largely excluded from the broadcast.

Organizing committee chairman Beattie apologised on Monday in the face of a barrage of criticism, saying "we got it wrong."

Closing ceremonies of Olympic and Commonwealth Games are usually much more relaxed than formal openings, focusing on the athletes and celebrating their achievements.

File image of GOLDOC boss Peter Beattie. Reuters

File image of GOLDOC boss Peter Beattie. Reuters

But the organizers' decision to have athletes enter the Carrara Stadium before the ceremony began meant television viewers saw little of the people the closing was meant to celebrate.

In a series of Twitter posts Monday, Beattie said the ceremony had not worked out as organisers planned.

"We wanted athletes to be part of and enjoy the Closing Ceremony," he said. "However, having them come into the stadium in the pre-show meant the TV audience were not able to see the athletes enter the stadium, alongside flag bearers. We got that wrong.

"The speeches were too many and too long. I was part of that and I acknowledge it. Again, we got that wrong."

In a later television interview, Beattie said "did we stuff it up? Yes. Should (athletes) have been a part of the actual ceremony that was broadcast? Of course. We got it wrong. I can't be more honest about it than that.

"I am not interested in blaming anyone else. We stuffed it up and I apologise to the viewers and the athletes."

Australians took to social media in large numbers to criticise the ceremony. In an unusual move, the television rights-holders Channel Seven joined in the criticism, saying the ceremony "had not lived up to expectations."

Hosts Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas told viewers the absence of athletes from Channel Seven's coverage was beyond its control.

"People are thinking that Channel Seven has chosen not to show pictures of athletes or not to show the flagbearer, Kurt Fearnley, or other flagbearers," Griggs said. "We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters. They made a decision not to have athletes enter the stadium.

"They made the decision not to show the flagbearers. I'm furious."


Updated Date: Apr 16, 2018 12:36 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See