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LEGACY: Games chief says impact of Glasgow 2014 will be felt for years to come

Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Nickel Ashmeade practice their relay run on the warm up track at Hampden Park

Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Nickel Ashmeade practice their relay run on the warm up track at Hampden Park

 

The positive impact of Glasgow 2014 will be felt in the city for many years to come, according to the event’s chief executive.

David Grevemberg believes the XX Commonwealth Games have not only been a huge success in terms of sporting action, but their legacy will be a very powerful one.

Grevemberg, an American who came to the Games organising committee via the International Paralympic Committee, has spent the past five years living in Scotland and witnessed the transformation of the city.

Grevemberg said: “The ambitions and aspirations of Glasgow 2014 were greater than the Games themselves. There is a big emphasis on legacy.

“Facilities have been built or refurbished as a result of Glasgow 2014, both sporting and communal. They’re world class and community-relevant.

“It’s not just been delivering 11 days of competition but working on issues like education, employability and skills development as part of this journey.

“Take the recognition and reputation of the city; the Games are changing its stereotype, redefining it.

“Come discover Glasgow - we’re not a gateway to anywhere in Scotland, we are a hub of Scotland for business, entertainment, sport and creativity.

“It has given people the opportunity to discover this city and its people. The benefits of the Games will continue going forward.

“Someone said to me in passing the other day, ‘I have lived here all my life, and I can firmly say Glasgow will never be the same, and in a good way. It feels like the city is going places’.

“I thought that was just a brilliant summing up. It will never be the same. This moment has been truly defining. It shows you the power of sport in so many ways.

“I’m delighted with the results. It is great when a plan comes together but I feel it has surpassed our expectations.”

On the sporting front, the Games have attracted some critics for their perceived lack of high-quality fields.

Big-name stars such as Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Yohan Blake have not been in attendance, while the most high-profile competitor, Usain Bolt, reportedly made derogatory comments this week.

Grevemberg dismisses such negativity and prefers to focus on a Games he believes have been a celebration of sport.

He said: “In some cases here you are the victim of your own success.

“We have never tried to be anything other than who we are. We are a Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“We have sparked conversation on where these Games fit - in terms of time, place and purpose - in the world of sport and society, and geo-politically, where the Commonwealth fits.

“We have had powerful feedback, supportive feedback from international federations.

“The IRB (International Rugby Board), for example, said in terms of rugby this was one the best sevens tournaments ever, broke records in terms of attendance, over 170,000 tickets sold, and was an enormously powerful competition.

“Athletics has been packed every single night with great athletes coming out here,” he added.

“Mo Farah wanted to be here but was not feeling well and had to make a decision. I think his heart was here but his body and mind said he needed to tread lightly.

“Usain Bolt is here, he is competing. He is enjoying his experience here and wants to be part of it. He said that in 2012 and it’s nothing new. He and his team have been incredibly supportive.

“When you hear athletes talking about what these Games have meant to them, I would say the relevance of the Commonwealth Games is true to form.

“It really is a celebration of sport with a global community, with a real world-class power. This was the place to be this year.”

 
 
 

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