THE BIG "G" with Gael Woods

12:46 pm on 5 August 2014

So in the end, the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony resembled a Kylie Minogue concert.

There was Lulu belting out "Shout", not to mention a massed pipe band of more than 200 pipers, an impressive sight - and sound - but overall the ceremony had the feel of a marketing exercise for the next Games' host, the Gold Coast in Australia.

Not that that seemed to matter to the packed Hampden Park stadium.

Most had come prepared to party and if that meant doing the Locomotion with Kylie, they were more than happy to do so.

Australian singer Kylie Minogue performs during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on August 3, 2014.

Kylie Minogue Photo: AFP

The opening ceremony, like the Games themselves, was generally regarded as a massive success - and while some of the sports followers over the past two weeks may have felt the sport at the Games wasn't overly memorable, it was an event with great heart and for Glasgow the opportunity to show it could easily handle the biggest sports event Scotland has hosted, as well as the chance to show off its inimitable swagger - or in Glasgow-speak, its "gallus".

And there were memorable moments:

Scottie dogs at the opening ceremony - the Scottish terrier is apparently back on the hot list as a breed, even though I wasn't aware it had somehow slipped out of the canine favourite spot. Whatever, their cuteness as they led the teams into the stadium couldn't be denied.

The Clydesiders - the 15,000 volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the Games run relatively smoothly - also need a mention.

And, one English woman who came to Glasgow at her own expense to help out, and worked on organising media transport. Was it worth it, I asked her one very late chilly night. Her reply was that she'd had a good life and it was good to give something back.

Weightlifter David Katoatau - Katoatau won not just Kiribati's first medal ever, and it was gold to boot, but also won the hearts of spectators who delighted in his achievement, his smile and his excitement, not to mention some nifty dance moves.

Blessing Okagbare - the sprint champion from Nigeria. Why aren't there more girls named Blessing?

New Zealand netball team versus England in the semi-finals - the team's 35-34 win in just the last few seconds of the match. A loss would have been unthinkable.

The Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonny. The English brothers exemplified not just the competitiveness of the Games, but some extreme sibling rivalry. Competing in the triathlon, younger brother Jonny asked Alistair if he could have a drink from his water bottle. The answer was "no". As one journalist remarked, "older brothers can be like that sometimes".

The sheer Weegieness of the Games: From the Weegie Wave to the irreverent humour and friendliness of the people, it felt as if for a couple of weeks we all belonged to Glasgow.

Closing Ceremony from Hampden Park.


New Zealand success at the velodrome: There was Sam Webster who won three medals. There was Tom Scully and Aaron Gate who won gold and bronze in the gruelling points race, after which both immediately paid tribute to their support rider, Shane Archbold.

Archbold also did a valiant job in the road race to help Jack Bauer home to a silver.

How appropriate then that work horse Archbold, the last track cyclist picked for the team, won gold himself in the 20 kilometre scratch race.

The Governor General, Sir Jerry Mateparae: Sir Jerry arrived in Glasgow with great enthusiasm for the Games. He was looking forward particularly to seeing some bowls, netball and hockey, all sports of which he is patron. He mused that perhaps he should also take over cycling.

While in Glasgow, Sir Jerry also defended the Commonwealth Games against the criticism of some New Zealand media commentators, who have slated the event as second rate and no longer relevant.

The most that can be said about the Games is that they are what they are. In the opening ceremony, a Robert Burns quote came up on the big screen. "Wi' joy unfeigned, brothers and sisters meet."

It may be a romantic narrative of the Commonwealth, but in a world where conflict seems to be the order of the day, an event which brings countries together with a sense of something shared, is probably not such a bad thing.