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Commonwealth Games tension

Posted By Connie Gong On September 30, 2010 @ 1:02 am In Global Education | Comments Disabled

Everyone’s heard of the Olympics. But the Commonwealth Games, an international, multi-sport event, get far less media coverage in the United States.
Like the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games are held every four years, with a rotating host nation. However, participant nations must be part of the Commonwealth of Nations, a federation of countries that were formerly British colonies.
By all accounts, the United States should be a participant in these games. Nearly all former British colonies, including now sovereign nations, take part in the Games.
America’s pride in her independence, however, has kept us from ever competing, which explains the lack of mainstream media coverage of the event.
This year’s Commonwealth Games are scheduled to begin on October 3, and are hosted in New Delhi, India.
Much like the Beijing Olympics did for China, the Commonwealth Games are supposed to reinvent India’s image and celebrate India’s emergence into the 21st century.
But from the very start, the Games have been plagued with one crisis after another.
Participant nations are threatening to pull out of the even because of unsafe conditions for athletes. Rumors of graft and corruption, an outbreak of dengue fever, heavy monsoon rains, and traffic chaos all threaten to derail the Games.
Scotland, New Zealand, England, and Canada have voiced concerns over the standard of living for the more the 6,000 athletes prepared to participate in the Games.
Portions of the sporting village have been declared uninhabitable, lacking furnishings, covered in rubble, and infested with vermin.
India is attempting, in a frenzy of last minute preparation, to finish construction of various athletic and housing facilities. The rush, however, is imposing dangerous conditions on workers.
On September 21, 23 people, mainly construction workers, were injured by the collapse of a footbridge under construction to the main Games stadium collapsed. Another disaster followed immediately, when a portion of the ceiling caved in on the main Commonwealth Games stadium the next day.
With the deadline on October 3 looming, it remains to be seen if India can improve conditions and pull through with negotiations to keep big ticket athletes in the Games.
If last minute preparations are unsuccessful, it is possible that the event may have to be cancelled, which would be a heavy blow to India’s image and world standing.

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