Comm Games Chairman Peter Beattie Apologise For Closing Ceremony

Athletes miss out on parade

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Comm Games Chairman Peter Beattie has apologised for a decision during Sunday's closing ceremony, which meant spectators and audiences watching at home completely missed out on seeing the athletes parade.

Organisers decided to go against tradition and bring in the athletes before the ceremony started, meaning TV crews weren't able to snap shots of the Australian squad arriving at Carrara Stadium, along with flag bearer Kurt Fearnley.

The show got a roasting not just from people who had paid top dollar to attend the event, but live on-air from Channel 7's commentators Joanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas, who addressed the confusion with their viewers.

"People are thinking that Channel 7 has chosen not to show pictures of the athletes, or flag bearer Kurt Fearnley and other flag bearers from nations coming in. We're the Australian rights holder so we can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual rights broadcaster," Griggs said.

"They made the decision not to have the athletes enter the stadium. They made the decision not to show the flag bearers and I'm furious. We're actually wrecking a tradition that's so important.. I'll tell you what, there's no athletes in here and I've never seen a stadium so empty halfway through a ceremony."

Beattie took to Twitter on Monday to address concerns, saying the decision was originally driven by the fact there were "restrictions on being able to keep the athletes waiting in comfort".

"We wanted athletes to be part of and enjoy the Closing Ceremony. However, having them come in to 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," he said.


Boomers athlete Angus Brandt said many athletes felt a little "left out".

"It was a shame that the flag bearer wasn't recognised," he told Sunrise on Monday.

"I mean, we were really looking forward to being apart of the closing ceremony and being recognised for all we've done in the Games, and we sort of walked in there and weren't really sure what was happening and then realised we'd actually been brought in before the broadcast had begun."

Flag bearer Kurt Fearnley didn't want the blunder to be the lasting memory of the games.

"You know what, it was a beautiful games, it was an amazing games. We had one of the most successful games we've had.. we don't want that to be shadowed by one moment," he said.

Australia finished the games on top of the tally, collecting an impressive 198 medals, including 80 gold. Swimmer Emma McKeon won more medals than any other athlete taking home six medals, four of them gold.

Amy Drew

16 April 2018

Article by:

Amy Drew

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