Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Commonwealth Games, day 11, Gold Coast

Commonwealth Games, day 11, Gold Coast

The ceremony has been slammed for snubbing the athletes and denying them the recognition for their achievements during the 11 days of competition.

Hosts Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas told viewers the absence of athletes from Channel Seven's coverage was beyond its control. "To be perfectly honest, Jo, so have we".

In a later television interview, Beattie said "did we stuff it up? Yes".

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

"Now, did we get it wrong?"

In a statement released by Griggs on Monday night, she reiterated that: "If we'd left that briefing room with any indication given to us that no athletes would feature, then of course we would have made other arrangements to capture those moments".

"I am sure there are plenty of athletes and parents of athletes from all around the Commonwealth who would have loved to see their guys coming into the stadium and Peter Beattie saying they did get it wrong and, yeah, they did mate", Fearnley said. "The speeches, look we understand the dignitaries need to get their messages out there, including the Birmingham presentation", Zempilas said.

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Performances from local musicians including Amy Shark, Guy Sebastian, Yothu Yindi, Kate Cebrano and Dami Im were included in the broadcast. Not have him be there for five seconds, take the flag away and proceed to go to a show that doesn't show any athletes until the last five minutes when they realise social media was lighting up.

"We are naturally disappointed that the good intentions of the creative did not necessarily work for some of the athletes involved and the broadcast audience".

She was particularly critical of the decision not to show para-sports veteran Kurt Fearnley carrying the Australian flag into Carrara Stadium, surrounded by his teammates. He also said he wasn't interested in blaming anyone else for the mistake.

"I tend to think the Commonwealth Games are, sadly, undervalued and chronically underfunded considering their important role in athlete preparation for the Olympic Games", she says.

"This is the first time I will be India's flag-bearer in an event like this".

Queensland's Courier-Mail reported that athletes left the ceremony early to hit the bar. We missed out on all of that. "No one had any sporting obligations so we're together for the first time and we just run into anyone we can and start chatting about whatever", he told Fox Sports News. "We made the decision to show it anyway at the back of the ceremony when we realised what a farce the Closing Ceremony was turning out to be".

There were reports many began leaving the venue less than an hour into the event, which also featured long, rambling speeches from politicians and dignitaries.

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