Organisers of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games are facing the wrath of many viewers and spectators who caught the closing ceremony live last night.
The event was criticised for letting the athletes into the stadium before the ceremony kicked off, effectively eliminating the traditional “entrance” that many viewers look forward to.
Australia’s Channel Seven team – that was reporting the broadcast live – criticised the coverage on-air: “We understand many people have been disappointed with tonight’s ceremony. And, to be honest, so have we. It hasn’t lived up to expectations.”
This morning, Commonwealth Games Chairman Peter Beattie went on Channel Seven’s Sunrise programme to explain that the coverage flaws were due to staging decisions by the Games’ organisers and event organisers, Jack Morton Events.
“The reality was, the athletes came in [with their flags] as part of the pre-show but that wasn’t shared with viewers,” Beattie said.
“We were concerned about athletes’ welfare. When you’ve got thousands of athletes, where do you put them? They’ve competed, they’re exhausted. The last thing they want is to stand in a field for an hour waiting to get into the closing ceremony. But that [decision] was clearly a stuff-up.”
Sunrise presenter David Koch rebutted by telling Beattie that the event appeared to have been “put together by some arty-farty event organiser who doesn’t know what the Games is all about”.
Koch added: “This Jack Morton company who put together the event, they’re an American company. They’re not even part of the Commonwealth, which I think is ironic.”
Here are a few Twitter reactions from viewers and live spectators:
Sooo where are the inspirational and uplifting songs with meaning to celebrate ATHLETES? This whole ceremony makes no sense and has no relevance to the athletes achievements over the last 11 days??? Pitiful and embarrassing ... sorry world #ClosingCeremony— Kylie Exelby (@KylieExelby) April 15, 2018
Such a shame that the #ClosingCeremony was a failure last night. The athletes deserved so much more recognition for their hard work and outstanding results. I would much rather see Kurt Fearnley carry the flag than watch a C-Grade performance by ex-talent show singers #GC2018— Matilda Gee (@matilda_gee) April 16, 2018