‘We were left out’: Athletes bemused by snub
AUSTRALIAN basketballer Angus Brandt has revealed athletes had no idea what was going on at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony before finally realising they had been brought in before the event began.
The ceremony has been slammed for snubbing the athletes and denying them the recognition for their achievements during the 11 days of competition.
Brandt, who was part of the Boomers' gold medal-winning team, attended his first closing ceremony last night and was left underwhelmed by the experience.
"I did go. It was a little disappointing with the athletes being brought in before the actual ceremony began," he said.
"It sort of felt like we were left out a little bit.
"It was a shame that the flag-bearer wasn't recognised.
"We were looking forward to being part of the closing ceremony and being recognised for what we've done at the games and we sort of walked in there and we weren't really sure what was happening and then realised that we'd been brought in before the broadcast had begun."
The failure to appropriately acknowledge the athletes was slammed by Channel 7 broadcasters Johanna Griggs, a 1990 swimming Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, and Basil Zempilas, while viewers also vented their frustration on social media.
Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie admitted in the aftermath of the event, which saw most of the athletes leave before the ceremony had finished, that it was a "stuff up" and organisers "got it wrong."
He said the welfare of the athletes was behind the decision as "the last thing they want is to stand in a field for an hour waiting to get into the closing ceremony."
Brandt said that shouldn't be a consideration given athletes have already competed.
"I think either way they were going to do it, there was going to be quite a bit of standing around," he told Channel 7. "But I think at this point at the Games, standing around really isn't the biggest concern given all the athletes had taken part in their events and they've competed."
Swimmer Cam McEvoy, who was an ambassador for the Gold Coast Games, said he enjoyed himself at the ceremony.
"Personally, everyone just gets together. 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.
"I didn't even hear the closing ceremony was what it was this morning when I got here."