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

  • 16/04/2018

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games ending without the athletes at the forefront was a mistake, admit organisers.

The closing ceremony has been criticised as underwhelming, with Seven Network presenters slamming organisers for not providing vision of athletes entering Carrara Stadium.

"Having them come in to the stadium in the pre-show meant the TV audience were not able to see the athletes enter the stadium, alongside flag bearers," Goldoc chairman Peter Beattie tweeted on Monday.

"We got that wrong."

The decision to seat athletes before the ceremony began meant Kiwi fans missed seeing Black Sticks hockey captain Stacey Michelsen leading the New Zealand team into Carrara Stadium.

"This decision to bring the athletes into the stadium before the broadcast was operationally driven, given there were restrictions on being able to keep the athletes waiting in comfort.

"We were driven by the welfare of athletes."

Beattie also conceded speeches at the ceremony went for too long.

"The speeches were too many and too long. I was part of that and I acknowledge it.

"Again, we got that wrong. It is very simple - I should not have spoken."

Seven presenter Johanna Griggs, a 1990 Commonwealth Games swimming bronze medallist, teed off at organisers, after viewers initially expressed frustration with the broadcaster when athletes were left out.

"We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters," Griggs told Seven on Sunday. "They made a decision not to have athletes enter the stadium.

"They made the decision not to show the flagbearers. I'm furious - [it's] actually wrecking a tradition that is so important.

"You want to see the athletes come in. You want to see them jumping in front of camera. You want to see them celebrating 11 days of great sport.

"We missed out on all of that."

The ceremony has been described as lacking star power, even with sprinting legend Usain Bolt hitting the DJ decks and dancing with mascot Borobi during the spectacle.

Large sections of seating were empty, while a number of athletes slipped away to the bar before the ceremony had reached its halfway point.