We’ve only had two full days of competition so far, but already Glasgow 2014 has delivered a host of stunning images to the world.
The surprise on the face of Scottish swimmer Ross Murdoch when he took gold in the 200m breaststroke against hot favourite and fellow Scot Michael Jamieson; the sight of a young man from Stirling University – Marc Austin – right on the wheel of the Brownlee brothers two thirds of the way through the men’s triathlon; and the pictures of thousands of phones held in the air during the opening ceremony, signalling the commitment to support the work of Unicef. So far £3.1 million has been raised.
The most important pictures of all, however, will surely be the images of children in Scotland watching and taking part in sport during the next ten days.
Over the summer, kids in the Capital have been passing a baton between Edinburgh Leisure venues (see page 6) to show they have been inspired. And across Scotland, children of all ages are being inspired by sport.
Involvement in sport, whether at a competitive or recreational level, changes communities. People are fitter and healthier; they are more productive. And they are happier.
Scotland is slowly shedding its sick man of Europe tag, but what a boost Glasgow 2014 could give this.
Yes, we can talk about jobs created, about investment and tourism and new homes and regeneration. But lifting horizons and telling people: “yes we can”, imbuing them with a confidence is the greatest legacy of all.
The buzz in Glasgow is tangible and real. Glasgow is today a city of sport, not a city of poverty or sickness. The challenge is to keep that going beyond the closing ceremony.
A great Glasgow will help to make a great Scotland and that is something we should all strive for.