x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

'Live from Delhi, it's a wrap'

"Well, you be a cynic if you like, Jim, but for me the Games were tremendous. As I look down on the smiling faces of those Indian athletes, their pockets bulging with gold medals, and hear those amazing fireworks outside, my heart skips a beat."

Stray dogs roam outside one of the entrances to the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village. Saurabh Das / AP Photo
Stray dogs roam outside one of the entrances to the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village. Saurabh Das / AP Photo

"Good evening, and welcome to Delhi, where you join us for the closing ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. A warm and muggy night for it, Jim..." 

"Well, it's certainly warm and muggy in this commentary box, Ken, but that's the downside of allowing a family of kingfishers to nest in the air conditioning unit." 

"Magnificent creatures, Jim. Very colourful, just like the outfits worn by the hundreds of local schoolchildren who have been invited to the stadium tonight."

"Actually Ken, I believe they are young construction workers. If you look closely, those colourful outfits are actually hi-visibility vests. And they are laying concrete. 

"And a magnificent job they have done, Jim. Yes, there were a few concerns over health and safety issues, but every large-scale project has teething troubles, right?" 

"Teething troubles is the word, Ken." 

"Yes, how is that wound healing, Jim? We've seen some strange sights from this commentary box, but never, until last week, a wild dog. A fierce competitor indeed."

"They think he may have been agitated by the kingfishers, Ken." 

"Thank goodness the Canadian women's archery team was passing at the time." "Actually, Ken, they weren't passing. They had set up a makeshift camp in the neighbouring commentary box after their accommodation was flooded." 

"Sounds like that monsoon cloud had a silver lining for you, Jim." 

"Yes, Ken." "No actual silver for the Canadians, though, who leave with a disappointing medal haul despite an impressive display in the pole vault. Clearing six metres like that would normally guarantee a place on the podium, Jim."

"That's true Ken, but the young Canadian was not competing at the time. He was just trying to get into his second-storey apartment after the stairs collapsed." 

"An impressive feat all the same, Jim, particularly when you consider that he was carrying luggage. But let's not dwell on the low points of these Games. Tell me your favourite high point." 

"Well, I did enjoy the view from that bridge they had until halfway through the first week."

"Perhaps the view was the problem, Jim. With so many people stopping to take photographs, you cannot expect a bridge to stay up. But what about the sport? Did you like the squash? 

"Yes, the squash was very impressive. Fitting 14 South African weightlifters into a one-bedroomed flat like that." 

"What about the shooting?" "No, that wasn't a problem, Ken. The security services did an excellent job." 

"Surely you liked the rowing, Jim?"

"It was fun, Ken, but I usually prefer to walk from the car park to the stadium." 

"Well, you be a cynic if you like, Jim, but for me the Games were tremendous. As I look down on the smiling faces of those Indian athletes, their pockets bulging with gold medals, and hear those amazing fireworks outside, my heart skips a beat."

 "Actually, Ken, those smiling Indian gentlemen are not athletes but corrupt politicians and greedy contractors, and their pockets are bulging with gold, not gold medals.

"And I'm not entirely sure those explosions outside are fireworks. We'd better get moving." 

"A wise move, Jim. Is there a basement we can hide in?" 

"Yes, but we'll need to be careful. That family of red pandas have just had cubs, so the mother will be quite protective, Ken." 

"Marvellous creatures, Jim." 

Will Batchelor is a writer, broadcaster and self-confessed cynical sports fan. 

sports@thenational.ae