CWG organisers apologise for 'shameful' closing ceremony
Canberra: The organisers of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games have apologised for Sunday's closing ceremony on Sunday night which has been roundly criticised for not including athletes.
Athletes, including the competing countries' respective flag-bearers, marched on to the arena before the ceremony commenced, meaning the audience at Carrara stadium could see them, but the TV audience couldn't. Many athletes were seen leaving the stadium while the closing speeches were still in progress, reports Xinhua news agency.
The ceremony was even criticised by Australian broadcasters, Channel Seven, with former CWG bronze Medallist Johanna Griggs saying during the live coverage she was "furious" with the decision.
"They're actually wrecking a tradition that is so important and part of the Commonwealth Games," Griggs said, live on air. "Unfortunately tonight, the organizing committee, together with the host broadcasters, just didn't get it right."
Commonwealth Games Chairman Peter Beattie acknowledged on Monday that organisers made a mistake featuring athletes in the pre-show instead of the television coverage.
"If the athletes didn't come into the stadium until the broadcast time they would have been stuck in a field or a paddock somewhere," Beattie told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday. Beattie, who had previously described the CWG as "inspirational" and "innovative," said he was disappointed the viewers at home did not get to see the athletes.