Commonwealth Games: Organisers admit 'we got it wrong' at closing ceremony

Lula Sharp
April 17, 2018

Commonwealth Games boss Peter Beattie has apologised for what he describes as a "stuff-up" closing ceremony.

Taking to Twitter, Beattie also admitted several of the speeches presented at the ceremony were needlessly long.

Channel Seven's own commentators, Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas, launched into an extraordinary attack on the ceremony immediately after it finished, saying they were "furious".

Many told the ABC outside the stadium that there had been too many empty seats during the ceremony.

Aussie para athlete Kurt Fearnley was rarely shown on the coverage as he led his team into the ceremony.

Griggs: They should have been included coming in and the athletes coming in together and hearing the roar of the stadium as opposed to basically having a couple of photos and having a flag taken away. The 1938 Empire Games were held in Sydney on the eve of World War II, while the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games were held during the Cold War.

Defeat ended hopes of backing up their Rio Olympic success and compounded the disappointment of the men's team failing to make the medal matches a day earlier, as New Zealand - who had to settle for silver behind the Australians two years ago - made history by claiming the inaugural Commonwealth title.

Singer Guy Sebastian performs during the closing ceremony.

The Host broadcaster played no part in the pre-show and therefore had no footage to provide.

Beattie, who had previously described the CWG as "inspirational" and "innovative", said he was disappointed the viewers at home did not get to see the athletes.

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There Was some controversy around the ceremony, as organisers made a decision to bring in many athletes - including the 474 strong Australian team - before the broadcast of the event started.

"Back in the day of Sydney 2000, Dick Ebersol of the NBC network was able to overturn the host city agreement and the IOC Charter by insisting that the athletes not be permitted to be in the stadium watching the ceremony prior to the Parade of Athletes". The ceremony was also criticised for "self indulgent" speeches by dignitaries.

Channel Seven has declined to comment.

Zempilas: Performance from our athletes have been spectacular. Many reportedly left early.

Said a satisfied Riddin: "This medal from one of our Seals swimmers was the first medal I managed to witness live in my 40 years of coaching at this level of competition". We missed out on all of that. "Again, we got that wrong". You want to see them jumping in front of camera, ' she told viewers.

"When I found out this morning that people didn't see the entrance I was mortified".

"If you do it and it doesn't get covered on telly, does the tree actually fall?"

"The crew that were responsible for creating the ceremonies did a phenomenal job".

The Commonwealth Games were in the United Kingdom just four years ago, when Glasgow hosted, and were in England as recently as 2002 in Manchester. You can't fault the effort they put in.

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