Bunnets and Batons at Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014

Although I was glued to the TV and Commonwealth Games the whole time it was on, I wasn't fortunate enough to be there in person. However, my Dad and my sister were there, and they were in the crowd on the final day of athletics when the Jamaica men's relay team roared to victory in the 4 x 100m. Little did my Dad and sister know however, that a simple act of kindness would go global!

My Dad and sister took their seats in the athletics stadium in plenty of time to enjoy the evening's events which included the pole vault finals, where Wales won silver, the triple jump and then both of the sprint relays. But being part Jamaican and part Welsh in background the 4 x 100m relay was the event that they were really looking forward to. So Jamaican flag in hand they sat back enjoyed the show! In the relay, Jamaica stormed around the track bringing the relay baton home ahead of England to take first place, with the most famous athlete in the world Usain Bolt crossing the finish line on fourth leg.

After the event was over the Jamaican men started their victory lap, thanking the crowd for their support and high fiving the fans as they went. Whilst my sister moved to the end of the stand to get a selfie with Usain, my Dad was approached by a stranger, asking if he could borrow my Dad's Jamaican flag. The man was Scottish and very friendly, explaining why he wanted to borrow said flag- which was because he owns a tartan scarf and hat company called 'Burn's Bunnet'. Throughout the Games John Burleigh the owner, had been getting athletes to wear his bunnet (hat) and scarf sets, tempting them in with the allure and familiarity of their home flags. So he was hoping to have some luck with our flag, the Jamaican national relay team and Usain Bolt... and he succeeded!

My Dad gave John the flag, which he took back to where he was sitting and as the Jamaican relay team came around, he managed to get their attention to come over and put on his tartan scarf and hat. With the Jamaican flag around their necks, that photo became one of the most iconic photos of the Games! John took the flag home after having got it signed by one of the relay leg members, although we're waiting in anticipation to find out which one, as he's promised to send it back. Whenever you're fortunate to attend a global sporting event such as this, there's always a story that stands out in your mind as having 'made your Games' and I think I speak for them when they say, this was theirs.

With thanks to John Burleigh for sharing the amazing photograph.


  1. Good stuff. I was wondering about the significance of those hats



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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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