Birmingham,  sport

Commonwealth Games 2022 – It’s Been A Blast!

For the last couple of weeks the city of Birmingham and the Black Country as a whole has been absolutely buzzing. In beautiful Summer sunshine we have watched a brilliant spectacle of sport that has been awe inspiring, exciting and inclusive of all and it has been amazing, one of the best summers in my memory. Today will see the closing ceremony for #B2022, our Commonwealth Games, but as the city returns to normal, and the wonderful volunteers go back to their normal day jobs, I can say with absolute certainty that this is a Summer I will never forget.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience so much of the games, from the Baton homecoming where Sir Lenny Henry bought the baton to Victoria Square as we danced in the drizzle to the likes of Bostin Brass. We did a Perry trail to get our photos taken with the games loveable mascot, and met some of the Kenyan basketball team by the New Street Perry. We spent a fortune in the Games Megastore, and then enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere at the site of the enormous, magnificent opening ceremony bull, the city’s newest (possibly greatest ever) tourist attraction.  We loved Smithfield, where we watched our Gold medal winning basketball team train, and the lad played a bit of basketball himself. We loved our free sweets and waterbottles on the way to the stunning Alexander Stadium, marvelling at just how well organised the transport system was, and how friendly too. And, of course, there was the sport.

We went to Smithfield to watch the 3×3 basketball and loved the party atmosphere, the pace and excitement of the sport, and the sheer brutal brilliance of the wheelchair event. The opening ceremony showed how stunning the new Alexander Stadium looked, so we grabbed tickets for Wednesday morning, and watched the brilliant Katarina Johnson Thompson and our local boy Matthew Hudson Smith competing, loving once again the atmosphere of sheer fun and exhilerance, being so thankful to be able to experience a part of this wonderful event. And then I enjoyed a free afternoon whilst the lads headed to Resorts World for some boxing, once again enjoying every minute of it.

The games have been wonderful, not least due to the friendly brilliance of the thousands of volunteers who have been the real stars of the show. There has been no better showcase for the salt of the Earth Birmingham and Black Country than the volunteers, who have high fived their way through the games with permanent smiles on their faces that have been catching. Everytime I’ve seen a hero dressed in orange and grey, I’ve smiled too.

I’m sad to see the games end, but will never forget the enormous amount of pride they have made me feel for my region for a couple of weeks in Summer 2022.

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