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GLASGOW 2014: Curtain set to come down on Games

The Glasgow 2014 closing ceremony will be the perfect after party and an event which creative director David Zolkwer insists has not been influenced in any way by Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.

The likes of Kylie Minogue, Lulu and Deacon Blue will be performing alongside more than 2,000 volunteers, while head of ceremonies Zolkwer promises there will also be a "couple of surprises" as the Games come to a close.

"Tomorrow night's show is called 'All Back To Ours' and the title reflects the kind of personal, spontaneous, general 'we don't want this moment to end' feel to the show," he said.

"We are holding the party at Hampden, but it is really like we've inviting the world into our front room.

"In many ways, I think the last 11 days of sport was the actual party. This is the bit where someone says 'we don't want this to end, let's all go back to our house and carry on'."

Zolkwer said the closing ceremony will have "all the pomp without ever getting pompous about it" and insisted there has been no influence from first minister Salmond ahead of the referendum on independence set for September 14.

"There's been no imposition, there has been no interference," Zolkwer said. "There has been nothing but support from all Games stake holders in these ceremonies.

"As a producer and a director, I've never felt any particular pressure to stick to any one specific agenda or narrative.

"Everyone will always recognise that great opening [and closing] ceremonies are great for everyone and that is the way I've been managed and treated and instructed from day one.

"So there has been absolutely no imposition from anyone, as far as I am concerned, in the closing ceremony."

Unfortunately, the curtain looks set to come down in rather damp conditions as rain is forecast for the final two days.

Zolkwer says the closing ceremony is planned around such an eventuality - "it's a resilient show, it can take a bit of a battering" - and Glasgow 2014 communications director Jackie Brock-Doyle downplayed talk that such conditions could see the women's pole vault final taken inside on Saturday evening.

"No, we haven't made a decision to do that," she said. "We monitor the weather all the time, as you can imagine.

"We're not hearing anything and we will monitor and manage it as we see fit, but there is nothing yet to indicate that we would not continue that competition as planned."

One of the main topics at the daily briefing surrounded the Sierra Leone team, with many members reportedly not wanting to return home amid fears over the killer Ebola virus outbreak in the country.

Asked if there would be a possibility for them to stay on at the athletes' village, Brock-Doyle said: "The athletes' village closes on Wednesday and is being decommissioned on Thursday, so it will become a building site within a matter of hours.

"We had a meeting with the chef de mission this morning and all his plan to take his entire team back to Sierra Leone on their flight on Tuesday still stands."

That meeting with chef de mission Unisa Deen Kargbo also cleared up confusion about the whereabouts of Sierra Leone athlete Mohamed Tholley, who had been expected to compete in the time trial event in Glasgow on Thursday but failed to turn up.

"The chef de mission knows where the cyclist is," Brock-Doyle said. "The cyclist is not missing.

"He is aware of where the athlete is and the police are not involved. Police Scotland issued a statement last night saying they have not been asked to find him."

 

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