Glasgow revels in Bolt buzz and warm glow

Sun Aug 3, 2014 10:10pm EDT
 
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By Sam Holden and Michael Hann

GLASGOW (Reuters) - The Glasgow Commonwealth Games proved to be much more than just 'Friendly' as Scottish culture, sport and six-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt combined to create a memorable 11-day event.

The success of the Games was assured with the golden seal of approval from Bolt, the world's most recognisable athlete, whose cameo in Jamaica's sprint relay triumph lit up Scotland's biggest city.

Inevitably, Bolt stole the show, providing one of the images of the "Friendly Games" as he returned home with a gold medal from his maiden Commonwealth appearance.

The Games provided few truly jaw-dropping sporting moments, but they will be remembered for the spirit in which athletes and visitors from the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories were greeted by crowds determined to enjoy the party.

"In my view, they are the standout Games in the history of the movement," Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper said.

"The way in which the people of Scotland and Glasgow have embraced the Games right from the get-go has been incredible."

With England's double Olympic champion Mo Farah pulling out, it was left to the world's fastest man Bolt to provide the glamour and boost TV ratings but there was no shortage of quality on show, from the netball courts, to the judo mats, the swimming pool and the velodrome.

After reportedly making disparaging remarks about the Games, eight-times world champion Bolt did not disappoint when he finally arrived at the Hampden Park track to rapturous cheers from a capacity crowd.   Continued...

 
Jamaica's Usain Bolt holds his gold medal after Jamaica won the men's 4x100m relay final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, August 2, 2014.                     REUTERS/Andrew Winning