Usain Bolt effectively pulled out
of next week’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi a year ago although he didn’t
make it official until recently. Loads of other big name athletes have declined
to go to India on the basis of genuine fear of terrorist attacks, sanitation
problems, disease outbreaks, total organisational ineptitude, a footbridge
collapse near the main stadium, a weightlifting hall’s ceiling caving in and
poor infrastructure. Even the athletes’ village has been described as
inadequate for human habitation. Apart from that Cayman’s squad of 17 has
little to fear!
The fact that New Delhi was given
these Games in the first place raised eyebrows and along with the allegations
of rampant corruption behind the scenes, general misgivings have been
confirmed. Donald McLean, Cayman’s president of the Olympic Committee is
nevertheless upbeat. He says that India has so much available man power that
they will fix everything in time for the 3 October start. Well gloss it over
for 11 days of the Games.
These Games bring together
more than 7,000 athletes from 71 countries and territories every four years.
They are supposed to showcase the emerging power of India, just as the 2008
Beijing Olympics did for China. Instead, these Games are highlighting problems
in a developing nation still plagued by widespread poverty, corruption and