International Inspiration - Glasgow Commonwealth Games Baton Relay Part 1

Last week I received an email from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 team, notifying me that I had been successful in my attempt to gain tickets for the games to be held in Scotland next year. I was fortunate enough to have been successful in gaining tickets for the 100m finals! One of my favourite athletic events.

The commonwealth games when they were held in Manchester in the year 2002 were my first taste of going to watch a big athletic event, and I think thats where I caught the bug for enjoying live sport where the whole world gets involved. Aged 14 I went with my dad not really knowing what to expect. But by the end having thoroughly enjoyed the athletics and watching the sprinters perform in front of the world's stage. Seeing how tall and skilled the female player's were whilst enjoying the netball matches, especially Jamaica vs England. And also the live gymnastics finals that were available, the floor and the pummel horse being amongst my favourites.

Two years later my dad and I made the trip to Greece and to Athens to go and see the Olympic Games, where it wasn't just the commonwealth countries that were in competition. But the American's and the rest of the world too. Here I saw a man named Asafa Powell for the first time, where he was competing along with Justin Gaitlin, in the mens 100m final. A race that will stay with me forever, for the amazing show of human ability during the day. But also because of all of the controversies that have followed the athletes in the years since. Since then I went to the London 2012 Olympic Games as a spectator too. And whilst the Manchester Commonwealth Games were what inspired my enjoyment of international sport and perhaps started me on my sporting path, it was really at the Games in Greece that helped me understand what international co-operation, friendship and partnership really meant.

Whilst in Athens at the bus stop outside the houses of parliament, we were waiting for the shuttle bus to take us out to the area where the stadiums were located just outside of the city centre. A Japanese man in a tracksuit featuring his national colours came up to me and pointed to the lanyard I was wearing. Having never spoken a word of Japanese myself and him not having spoken any English, I wasn't too sure what he was saying. But then he proceeded to give me a pin badge, it was beautiful and about the size of two 10p pieces. The shape of the pin badge was a Japanese fan with Japanese blossoms on it and the name of the country in the corner. In return I then gave him one of my badges that I happened to have on my lanyard.

I later learnt that during the Games the giving of pin badges is a tradition that is carried throughout the Olympics. Where spectators take badges along to the event, often putting them on the lanyards that are used to carry their tickets. And then when they get to the event swap them with people from all around the world as a symbol of friendship and kindness. It is also an exciting addition to the competition that gets people talking or at the least communicating and feeling part of the event. Similarly to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Baton Relay that was started by the queen a couple of days ago. Sometimes there can be many critics of mass sporting events, especially in the current economic climate. And often the first question that is asked is how much will it cost or how much will the event make. But sometimes other things come out of something like this other than money-thing's such as inclusion, friendship, and memories that last a lifetime.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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