Glasgow on countdown to 2014 Commonwealth Games

Image caption,
More than 350 Scots took part in the handover ceremony

The mantle of Commonwealth Games host has been officially handed to Glasgow at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Games in Delhi.

The city was given the official Commonwealth Games flag, which signals the countdown to the 2014 event.

A cast of 352 volunteers from across Scotland was in Delhi to showcase the country and city during the handover.

Back in Glasgow, an invited audience of 700 guests celebrated the occasion at the Old Fruitmarket.

The flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation was handed to the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Bob Winter, at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

'Highland charge'

A short video - featuring locations around Scotland and Glasgow - was then shown on the stadium's screens.

When this ended, a spotlight shone on a lone piper who was the target of a "Highland charge" of 352 performers.

The cast then unfurled huge cloths which were interchanged to create various tartans.

Image caption,
Provost Winter was given the Commonwealth Games flag

Giant inflatables were then used to recreate Glasgow's Clyde Arc bridge, the "Armadillo" or Clyde Auditorium and the Loch Ness Monster.

Provost Winter said he was "immensely proud" to have played a role in bringing the Games to Glasgow.

"The flag handover was a fantastic spectacle and I hope all the people at home who saw it on television enjoyed it as much as I did," he said.

"Now that Delhi 2010 has finished, the focus will very much be on Glasgow 2014.

"We are already well on our way to making the most of what is a once in a generation opportunity to transform Glasgow socially, economically and environmentally."

The creative vision for Glasgow's part in the handover ceremony was overseen by communications firm Unspun and led by executive producer Catherine Ugwu and creative director Mark Fisher.

Glasgow 2014 chief executive John Scott said the performance had a "personal touch" and was part of "an incredible journey" for the city.

"We went out and sought to involve as many people as possible from a wide variety of backgrounds - from sports volunteers to dance teachers to students - and offered them this amazing opportunity," he said.

Image caption,
First Minister Alex Salmond cheered on the performance

"I have great pride in the cast and crew who have all worked so hard over the last few months to put on this stylish performance on a world stage, all of whom personally wanted to invite the whole Commonwealth to Glasgow in four years time."

The volunteers who took part in the Delhi Games closing ceremony were aged between 18 and 60 and chosen from across Scotland.

The group took part in a three-week training programme led by American-based choreographer Steve Boyd, who worked on the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies.

First Minister Alex Salmond, who attended the Delhi closing ceremony, said he was "proud" to have represented Scotland on such a "momentous occasion".

"The marvellous performance staged tonight by the cast brought a unique Scottish flair to this very special occasion," he said.

"Scotland is already excited about hosting the Games in 2014 and the handover ceremony showed the world how spectacular this event will be by showcasing our country's spirit and our greatest asset, our people."

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