Saturday, October 9, 2010

India Commonwealth Games miracle

So when I first heard about the snakes in the village where the athletes for the 2010 Commonwealth games were going to be living, I almost had a heart attack. Then with foot bridges collapsing along the way I was even more certain that the games were going to be a total disaster. What a change in organisational effectiveness when compared to South Africa when they hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup earlier this year! An MBA case study if there were ever going to be one.

Upon arrival in New Delhi, India however, both the atmosphere and actual delivery of the games has been nothing short of spectacular. In an incredible turnaround - and incredible it was - the village was ready, the opening ceremony was amazing and the athletes in India are certainly doing their nation proud. Over a dozen medals to the hosts and counting - India's largest tally in similar international athletics events to date.

Opening Ceremony - Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games

Above are some of the photos of the facilities. To imagine that these were largely constructed purely for these games and were in a horrid state just last month, India has certainly pulled one out bag this time. The events have been a pleasure to watch and photograph as a freelancer - certainly one more once in a lifetime experience for me!

In other local news in Delhi, it seems some government lobbyists for India casinos licenses have been staying in my hotel near Connaught Place. The reports of corruption from the games sounds like it is barely a drop in the ocean compared to what I've been hearing in terms of the process of government regulator lobbying for gambling licenses in Assam. Gaming (of the non-sport kind!) is currently only allowed in Goa in India at present.

On the whole, the trip to India so far has been amazing as always. I was quite doubtful before I arrived but once again the media seemed to have blown things completely out of proportion in terms of their reporting. Either that, or a miracle took place in India last week!

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