Culture

Here’s Why Everyone Is Furious About The Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony

Even the Channel 7 commentators were mad.

Once again, people are really mad at the Commonwealth Games organisers. This time, it’s because they…forgot to include the athletes in last night’s closing ceremony.

The broadcast of the ceremony was pretty conspicuously missing the usual footage of athletes and flagbearers entering the stadium, which meant we didn’t get to see wheelchair racing gold medallist Kurt Fearnley carry the Australian flag for the last time before retiring.

In fact, viewers didn’t really see any athletes in the broadcast of the closing ceremony, and they were pretty mad about it.

It wasn’t just viewers, either — the Channel 7 commentators were also furious, and rightly so. Channel 7 was copping a lot of heat on social media for the blunder, but it turns out it wasn’t actually their fault.

As co-hosts Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas explained to viewers, Channel 7 only has the rights to broadcast the footage the organisers give them, and the organisers didn’t think to include the athletes in that footage. Here’s a video of the commentators absolutely spewing about it, on live TV.

“It’s about the only thing they got wrong, but they did get it wrong tonight,” host Basil Zempilas began, before co-host Johanna Griggs cut him off to go on a spectacular rant.

“I’m sorry, you’re being way too polite,” she said. “They made the decision not to have the athletes enter the stadium. They made the decision not to show the flag bearers. And I’m furious — they’re actually wrecking a tradition that is so important and part of the Commonwealth Games.”

“You want to see the athletes come and you want to see them jumping in front of a camera, you want to see them celebrating 11 days of great sport. We missed out on that, and I tell you, they’ve been repaid — there’s no athletes in here, and I’ve never seen a stadium so empty half way through a ceremony.”

This morning, Commonwealth Games committee chairman Peter Beattie publicly apologised for the “complete stuff-up”.

“We made a mistake,” he said, and claimed the organising committee didn’t want tired athletes to have to stand outside for ages waiting to come in.

“We got it wrong. I can’t be more honest about it than that,” he said.