Glasgow 2014: City set for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

 
Glasgow 2014 images The opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will get under way at 21:00

The Queen will formally open the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later, in front of a 40,000 crowd at Celtic Park.

Organisers said a global TV audience of up to a billion people was expected to watch the event from 21:00 BST.

More than 4,500 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories will parade during the curtain-raiser.

About 2,000 cast members will perform in a ceremony that organisers have promised "will surprise, delight and be uniquely Glaswegian and Scottish".

The Games will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition, which begins on Thursday. The closing ceremony takes place at Hampden Stadium, which has been transformed into an athletics venue, on 3 August.

Euan Burton will be making his Commonwealth Games debut Judo player Euan Burton will be the Team Scotland flag bearer at the opening ceremony
English Squash player Nick Matthew Squash player Nick Matthew will be the flag bearer for Team England
Welsh gymnast Francesca Jones Rhythmic gymnast Francesca Jones will be the flag bearer for Team Wales

The opening ceremony will feature a parade around Celtic Park by thousands of athletes taking part in the Games.

The journey from their accommodation, at the Athlete's Village in Dalmarnock, close to Celtic Park, is expected to take about one hour.

India, as the previous host, will lead the parade, which will end with the current host, Team Scotland.

Teams will parade by region. At the start of each region the crowd will be shown video of some of the work that Unicef is doing in that part of the Commonwealth.

At the end of the parade, athletes and team officials will be seated on the field of play, in the centre of the show.

Live show

The centrepiece of the opening ceremony will be a live show consisting of about 2,000 people.

Just over 1,600 will take part in the stadium with the other 400 having been involved in making pre-filmed content.

The content of the show is secret but head of ceremonies and artistic director David Zolkwer promised it would have a distinct theme.

"Our goal has always been to have the people of Glasgow and Scotland take centre-stage, for them to speak and sing and dance for themselves," he said.

"So, on the night our audience will witness thousands of real people doing extraordinary things - and in the process I know our volunteer cast performers will do themselves, the city and Scotland proud."

Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village More than 4.500 competitors are based at the Athletes' Village at Dalmarnock
Image of the screen at Celtic Park The opening ceremony will be shown on a huge LED screen running the entire length of the south stand at Celtic Park

Celtic Park, home of Scottish Premier League champions Celtic, has been dramatically transformed for the opening ceremony.

Europe's largest LED screen has been installed, along with a specially-created stage floor covering the entire pitch, including a walkway specifically designed for the athlete's parade.

The giant screen, which stands across the whole of the South Stand, is almost 100 metres long, 11 metres high and weighs 38 tonnes.

The man charged with delivering the Games, David Grevemberg, chief executive of organiser Glasgow 2014, said the screen would help deliver a "magical" experience.

"It's going to act as our window to the Commonwealth," he said.

"I can guarantee you are going to see a lot of colour, imagery and light coming from this."

The screen will show the Queen formally open the Games when she reads out the message that has been hidden inside the baton.

The origins of the Commonwealth Games - in 60 seconds

Baton relay

The hand-written message was inserted by the Queen, during a ceremony at Buckingham palace, on 9 October last year.

It was then sealed for its journey of more than 190,000 km through Commonwealth territories in Asia, Oceania, Africa, North and South America and the Caribbean.

Along the way it has been carried by thousands of baton bearers, some 4,000 in Scotland alone, amid a carnival atmosphere in cities, towns and villages around the globe.

The Queen launches the baton relay The Queen inserted her hand-written message into the baton at Buckingham Palace on 9 October 2013
Duncan Bannatyne with Games Mascot Clyde at Ravenscraig Stadium, Greenock in Inverclyde Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne was among thousands of baton bearers who transported the Queen's message around the Commonwealth amid a carnival atmosphere

The opening ceremony will be followed on Thursday by the first full day of events, including badminton, cycling and swimming.

Almost a million tickets have been sold for the sporting extravaganza, which will be controlled in a security operation led by Police Scotland.

Thousands of officers will be joined by about 2,400 members of the armed forces, prison officers and 17 private security firms.

An army of 15,000 specially-recruited civilian volunteers will be deployed in and around venues to aid athletes and spectators.

The £90m cost of security is being met from the overall Games budget of £472.3m.

'Threats and risks'

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen, head of security for the Games. said everything possible had been done to prepare for every eventuality.

"Challenges range from threats and risks that we have to secure the Games from - the ever-present risk of international terrorism, through to organised crime and just managing the sheer numbers of people in and around Glasgow.

"But we've done our work, we know what we're doing, we're ready to go and we can't wait for it to start."

That figure has helped pay for major upgrades in infrastructure across Glasgow.

Two of the showpiece venues to open in the past year include the £125m Hydro arena at the SECC complex, and the £113m National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, opposite Celtic Park.

The many agencies involved in delivering the Games hope it will leave a lasting legacy of economic, social, cultural, sporting and health-related improvement for Glasgow and Scotland.

The Hydro The £125m Hydro arena is part of the SECC complex which will host gymnastics, boxing, judo, netball, wrestling and weightlifting
National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome The National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome is one of the showpiece venues of the Games

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and UK Prime Minister David Cameron both said the Games would make a hugely positive long-term impact on Glasgow and the rest of the country.

Mr Salmond said: "The real legacy is the people legacy.

"It's not just in that people have had an opportunity, a life chance - thousands of them in terms of preparations for the Games - but the impact it has on the minds of future generations."

'Great advertisement'

Mr Cameron said: "Scotland has a huge amount to offer the world and I think we'll see that with the opening ceremony and the Games in Glasgow.

"I'm sure from everything I've seen it's going to be well-organised and a great event and a great advertisement for Glasgow, for Scotland and indeed for the United Kingdom."

Glasgow's journey to become host city began in September 2004, when the city was selected over Edinburgh as the Scottish candidate city for the Games.

Glasgow was awarded the Games on 9 November 2007, at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly in Colombo, Sri Lanka, seeing off rival Abuja, in Nigeria, in a head-to-head by 47 votes to 24.

Six years, eight months and 15 days later, Scotland's largest city is finally ready to take centre stage as host of the Games.

Line

Lisa Summers, Commonwealth Games reporter, BBC Scotland

Crowds at Celtic Park

I've asked lots of people lots of questions about the opening ceremony, but information is usually thin on the ground.

I'm told there will be contemporary use of technology that will some how help bring the world in and the spectators out, there will be two big surprise moments, and there's even been quirky rumours of dancing Tunnocks tea-cakes.

We know that Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle will feature, as will children, and the Scottish athletes will take on a bigger role than the usual add-on parade.

It promises to be very Glasgow. Hopefully that Glaswegian humour will translate to the world.

Line
Flying the flag
Flags flying

For 11 days, more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories will compete in 17 sports, with the hope that years of tough training will culminate in a medal win.

They will be cheered on by more than one million fans inside the 13 official venues, with hundreds of millions more watching from around the world.

So, the big question is how many flags will we see, and which ones? Believe it or not there are protocols around what official flags fly and there are rules about the size of the flag a spectator can wave.

Line
 

More on This Story

Glasgow 2014

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
 

Comments 5 of 625

 

More Scotland stories

RSS

Scotland Live

  1.  
    09:49: Sarwar analysis Glenn Campbell BBC Scotland news

    Anas Sarwar believes his decision to create a contest for the post of deputy Labour leader in Scotland is in the "best interests" of his party.

    It also removes a potential problem for Jim Murphy's campaign to replace Johann Lamont as leader.

    Anas Sarwar, Gordon Brown and Johann Lamont

    Some would have been reluctant to back an MP for the top job, while the deputy is also a member of the UK parliament.

    That combination would have left Labour without an elected leader at Holyrood until Mr Murphy was able to secure a seat.

    Now it will be possible for MSPs, MPs and even MEPs to compete for the deputy leadership.

    Some of those backing MSPs Sarah Boyack or Neil Findlay for leader might prefer a deputy from outside the Scottish Parliament, especially given that the next big electoral test is a UK general election.

     
  2.  
    @bbctennis 09:43: Murray watch

    BBC Tennis tweets: Murray. Djokovic. Paris. Live tonight on @BBC5LSX and @BBCSport website. From around 6.30.

    Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray

    Andy Murray, who booked his place at the ATP World Tour Finals with victory over Grigor Dimitrov at the Paris Masters, faces world number one Novak Djokovic in the last-eight later.

     
  3.  
    Text 80295 09:38: Scottish Labour shake-up - Your Views

    I Smith, Largs: Why are all the 'supposed' ills of Scotland being blamed on the Labour Party? Who has been in power in Scotland for years? The SNP who can't accept they lost in the referendum.

    Sean from Edinburgh: Surely Jim Murphy will need a current MSP with a very large majority to step aside to ensure he has any chance of getting to Holyrood if recent polls are anything to go by?

    Kenny, Lanark: I think Labour will only rise again if they can show that they prioritise Scotland. For example, go a lot further for their devolution proposals, stick up for Scotland's position of being dragged out of Europe etc, instead of playing politics with the priorities of Scotland.

     
  4.  
    09:30: Findlay's pitch

    Neil Findlay MSP said he would commit to "full employment", and said the living wage "should become the norm".

    Neil Findlay MSP

    Speaking about his bid to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Mr Findlay wants to focus on social care, describing it "as the biggest crisis in our country at the moment and it is being completely ignored by the Scottish Government".

    Mr Findlay described the latest polls by Ipsos Mori for STV and YouGov for The Times - which suggest the SNP could have many more MPs in Scotland than Labour after the general election, as "pretty dreadful".

    "I don't think we should pretend that they are not," added the Scottish Labour leadership contender. "That requires a political response. It requires us to have policies that people recognise, and recognise as Labour, and we are addressing their issues.

    "If we don't have that political response, then we are going to be in trouble."

     
  5.  
    09:24: Dugdale for deputy leader?

    James Matthews, Sky News Scotland Bureau Chief, tweets: I expect @kdugdalemsp to stand for dep leadership of Scot Labour. Wouldn't be a big surprise if she was the only candidate

     
  6.  
    09:15: Boyack's leadership bid

    Sarah Boyack will focus on "social, environmental and economic justice", should she become the leader of Scottish Labour, and will work on issues such as pay day loan companies, inequalities in housing, and fuel poverty.

    Sarah Boyack

    Ms Boyack adds: "In the debate over the next few weeks, the party members are going to be choosing who they think is the best person to lead the Labour Party and also the best political platform."

     
  7.  
    09:07: RBS probe

    Royal Bank of Scotland has set aside £400m to cover potential costs from an investigation into alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

    RBS

    The provision, revealed in its third quarter results, follows Barclays' decision to set aside £500m.

    Pre-tax profit at RBS came in at £1.27bn - up £260m on the previous quarter and far better than the £634m loss in the same period last year.

     
  8.  
    08:55: Marra won't stand

    Labour's North East Scotland MSP Jenny Marra has announced she will not stand for the deputy leader position.

    "No, I'm not standing," she told BBC Radio Scotland's Morning Call.

    "I think there are going to be six candidates in the field and I'm looking forward to supporting one of them.

    Jenny Marra

    "I'm hoping that Kezia Dugdale decides to stand for the deputy leadership. I think she has many qualities that would be of great advantage to the Labour Party and the country at large.

    "Jim Murphy is standing, as you know, for the leadership and I'm co-chairing his campaign; I think he's got great qualities to bring to that as well."

     
  9.  
    08:52: Tributes to Sarwar

    Two MSPs in the Labour leadership contest have paid tribute to the work of Anas Sarwar, who has resigned as the deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

    Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack made the comments on Good Morning Scotland, and also disagreed with a suggestion that Mr Sarwar, an MP, resigned to allow Jim Murphy MP to win the leadership contest and have a MSP as his deputy in Holyrood.

     
  10.  
    08:50: Tune in Morning Call's Kaye Adams

    With the Labour Party currently searching for a new leader in Scotland, a new poll suggests Scottish Labour would face political annihilation if there was a general election tomorrow. Can Scottish Labour come back from the dead?

    Meanwhile, a 75-year-old woman who had £10,000 worth of jewellery stolen from her house has given £20 to the burglar who wrote her an apology letter.

    If you're a victim of crime, would you forgive the perpetrator?

    The lines are open 0500 92 95 00 or text 80295.

    You can listen live to the programme here.

     
  11.  
    08:45: Why do we love a good scare?

    'In Edinburgh, it's nigh on impossible to walk down the Royal Mile without bumping into a ghost walk or a Burke & Hare tour. Our appetite for gore is seemingly insatiable.'

    Edinburgh witch tour

    The BBC's Business Reporter Elizabeth Hotson explores the lure of Edinburgh's 'dark tourism'.

     
  12.  
    08:38: Glencoe fundraiser

    A competition to be held on indoor climbing walls on Saturday will raise money for Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team.

    mountain rescue

    The team has been trying to raise £50,000 for an extension to its base in Glencoe village to provide a new secure store for members' equipment after the team's store was broken into and kit was stolen last year.

    Up to 60 of the UK's top climbers are expected to contest the Scottish Mixed Masters competition at the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven.

     
  13.  
    08:29: Halloween - Get Involved

    Are you heading out to a Halloween party tonight? Costume sorted? Any Halloween pictures or fashion own ghouls you'd like to share?

    Tweet using #ScotlandLive, email here or text a scary tale to 80295.

     
  14.  
    08:26: Paranormal festival

    Happy Halloween everyone.

    They are certainly getting into the spirit in Stirling as Scotland's first festival of the paranormal gets under way.

    Paranormal festival in Stirling

    The weekend event features talks and workshops on ghosts, UFOs and aliens, with academics, enthusiasts and declared sceptics taking part.

     
  15.  
    @LadyM_McManus 08:25: Halloween pictures

    Michelle McManus tweets: Happy Halloween all.

    Michelle McManus
     
  16.  
    08:22: Today's papers

    It is all about Labour on the front pages of today's newspapers.

    The leadership bid of Jim Murphy, the resignation of Anas Sarwar, and the STV poll predicting a General Election meltdown are amongst the key topics explored by The Herald, The Scotsman and the Scottish Daily Mail.

    The Herald and the Scotsman

    Read all the latest in our Scottish newspaper review.

     
  17.  
    08:19: Scottish Labour shake-up

    Scottish Labour is seeking both a new leader and a new deputy leader following the resignation of Anas Sarwar.

    The Glasgow Central MP announced on Thursday evening that he was standing down from his deputy role.

    Anas Sarwar

    He is currently interim leader of the party following Johann's Lamont departure and will remain in that role until her replacement is announced.

    Contests for the leadership and deputy leadership will run concurrently.

    Mr Sarwar's resignation came after fellow MP Jim Murphy announced he was entering the leadership race against Lothian MSPs Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack.

     
  18.  
    08:14: World Cup hopes dashed

    It was sadly not to be for Scotland's Women as they were defeated 2-0 by the Netherlands in the World Cup play-off semi-final second leg in Rotterdam.

    Scotland vs Netherlands

    Read Cheri Burns's match report on a disappointing end to the qualifying campaign for Anna Signeul's side.

     
  19.  
    08:09: Appeal over missing botanist

    The father of a botanist from Argyll who went missing in Vietnam a year ago has appealed for anyone with any information to come forward.

    Jamie Taggart, from the Linn Botanic Gardens at Cove on the Rosneath peninsula, was on a plant hunting expedition near the border with China.

    Missing poster

    Dr Jim Taggart said it would take "very freak circumstances" for his son to be found alive.

    But he said "someone, somewhere must know something" about what happened.

    The 41-year-old retained fire fighter was travelling by himself, on hired motorbike taxis.

     
  20.  
    08:05: Weather update BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Hello, Gillian here. Exceptionally mild this am. Cloudy, with rain in W Isles & west coast. Some brighter spells later, especially NE & Lothians. 15-18C. Rain in West will pep up and spread East this evening, so a wet spell for guisers. It clears through the early hours. 7C. Happy Halloween!

     
  21.  
    08:03: Miliband concedes Labour faces 'challenge'

    Ed Miliband admits that Labour faces a "big challenge" in Scotland as the process of finding a new Scottish leader continues.

    He was interviewed as he prepared to appear at a Labour function in Glasgow.

    Labour leader Ed Miliband

    Mr Miliband told the BBC he would work closely with whoever was elected as Scottish Labour leader.

    During Mr Miliband's visit to Scotland, two opinion polls were published which indicated a dramatic fall in Labour's Scottish support.

    The polls, by Ipsos/Mori for STV and by YouGov for The Times, suggested the SNP could have many more MPs in Scotland than Labour after the general election.

     
  22.  
    08:00: Welcome Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    It's Friday and the latest instalment of Scotland Live as we bring you a comprehensive round up of the latest news, sport, travel and weather between now and 18:00.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • MonkeyMeet the tarsier

    The BBC travels to a Philippine island that is home to the world's oldest primate

Programmes

  • The Wrecking Crew OrchestraClick Watch

    The Japanese dance group using wearable technology to lighten up their act

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.