Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games
When you think of Glasgow attractions, you generally think of rolling mountains, wild landscapes - and whisky, of course! Sporting events aren't necessarily high on the list of Scotland's achievements, unless you're into rugby. However, the city of Glasgow has been host to one of the world's biggest sporting events: the Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow was selected in 2009 to hold the Commonwealth Games in 2014, beating off competition from Nigeria to win the title. Sadly, Glasgow Private Tours wasn't quite formed at the time! It was the biggest sporting event ever to be held in Scotland, with even more competitors and sporting events than in Edinburgh in 1970 and 1986. Commonwealth Games in Glasgow had around 4,950 athletes from 71 countries and 18 different sports, which is a staggering amount of people and their achievements.
The Games were widely acclaimed as being well organised and attended, and the enthusiasm from the locals was noted. Having the Commonwealth Games hosted in your home city is a big thing, so this is hardly surprising! The native Scottish friendliness and welcoming attitude to tourists - particularly those bringing revenue to their beloved city - must have played some part too. Having the Games hosted in one of the home nations was excellent for British morale, with England finishing top of the medal table for the first time Glasgow since 1986 (another Games that were, incidentally, held in Scotland - coincidence?)
Glasgow opened its doors for the whole event, making sure there was accommodation for all the sporting events. The Olympic standard swimming pool at Tollcross was modernised and refurbished, while the Velodrome and the Commonwealth arena were used for cycling, badminton and the opening ceremony. Rugby, mountain biking, hockey, the marathon, judo, wrestling, bowling, tennis, squash, shooting - as well as many more events, were all held in Scotland's largest city. The Athletes Village was in the East end of Glasgow, and housed all of the athletes plus their attendees, and included an exclusive retail park and medical facilities.
Glasgow had their own official mascot for the games, which was a thistle named Clyde. Beth Gilmour won a competition for children to design the 2014 mascot, and he was then brought to life by a team of digital designers. Clyde was so popular that 50,000 cuddly toy versions were sold by the end of the Games! Clyde represents "the Glaswegian charm and likeability". Clyde mascots are now proposed the official mascots of Glasgow City.
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games attracted around 690,000 visitors to the city, all of whom brought revenue and long term economic benefits. First of all there is the obvious bonuses for the tourism industry - that amount of visitors cannot fail to bring in extra money. Secondly, having an international sporting event visiting a city necessitates the building of new facilities, which can then be enjoyed by generations to come. And of course there will be a lasting sense of national pride - having one's home city chosen to host such a prestigious event is no small feat, and it remains to be one of the most memorable of Glasgow attractions!
If you are looking for fun things to do in Glasgow, why not take taking a walking tour of Glasgow and ask your guide about the Commonwealth games.