CWG 2018: It's all about being caring

A visit to the Optus Aquatic Centre on the final day of the swimming competitions, on Tuesday evening, provided one an opportunity of not only witnessing some of the sensational contests in the pool but also the positive spirit of those who are involved in the conduct of the Games.

The genuine warmth and the effort to involve everyone left a lasting impression at the Optus Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast.   -  Y.B. Sarangi

'Being caring' is perhaps the best phrase to describe the way the 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) is being conducted in this tourism hub of Queensland.

A visit to the Optus Aquatic Centre on the final day of the swimming competitions, on Tuesday evening, provided the opportunity to witness some of the sensational contests in the pool and also the positive spirit of those who are involved in the conduct of the Games.

From the entrance of the swimming arena, one could see volunteers, young and old, standing at crucial points, holding huge palms to offer a 'high five' to the spectators and show them the long-winding path to the competition venue.

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At the security and ticket checkpoint, volunteers were there to explain the dos and don'ts. No one was there to restrict you from carrying food and drink.

The number of spectators might be big, but the volunteers were there to help each one reach their seat in the three steep stands, made of metal pipes and sheets, smoothly.

As Aussie swimmers rewrote three Games records — women's 400m freestyle, men's 200m individual medley and women's 4x100m medley relay – and Mitch Larkin won four individual gold medals, to trump Ian Thorpe's 2002 record, to build an air of excitement, the authorities concerned did not forget about the near-capacity crowd, who made the night successful because of their presence and support for the swimmers.

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When a sharp shower greeted the open air pool, the lightning fast volunteers jumped into action to distribute polythene raincoats to each spectator, who was in the need of it. The organisers deserved a pat on the back for such a thoughtful gesture.

As the large gathering set off homewards, after watching Australia winning two thrilling battles to take the men and women 4x100m medley relay races, the volunteers – some of them shaking their legs and others in funny get-ups — bid them goodbye with a wide smile.

The genuine warmth and the effort to involve everyone left a lasting impression.

(The writer is in Gold Coast at the invitation of Tourism Australia)