As we have finally enter the year of 2012, there is no doubt that all things Olympic and Paralympic will dominate the headlines across all media outlets from now until September 9 when the Paralympic Closing Ceremony will officially bring the Games to a close.

Less than a week into the New Year, we have already seen 10,000 too many tickets sold for the Olympic synchronised swimming sessions, the Sports and Olympics Minister, Hugh Robertson, declare a major warning over illegal betting scandals at London 2012 and the cyclist Bradley Wiggins claim that team-mate David Millar should never compete at the Games again following his doping ban.

Expect far more of these stories over the next 200 days or so until we reach the Games and then probably a lot of good news when Britain starts an unprecedented gold rush and the likes of Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Sir Chris Hoy respectively light up the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre and Velodrome.

But once we hit that day in early September and all things London 2012 come to an abrupt halt, we will all no doubt start looking around for the next big thing in the UK that might help us all capture the essence of the Olympics.

Fortunately, one will not have to look far as London 2012 has a readymade successor in the form of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

I once heard Glasgow 2014 described cryptically by a fellow journalist as the event that will stop us all going over the edge of a cliff after London 2012 and I'm therefore happy that, at present, all in Glasgow is going rather well.

Preparations for the event have hit only one crisis so far which came when the former chief executive John Scott resigned last June.

It was a scandal that turned out to be slightly anti-climatic when it eventually emerged that his suspicious "error of judgment" was only to accept free tax advice from the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Scott has since been replaced by the highly capable American David Grevemberg and under his watch; things so far look very good.

Yes, there was news this week that police are looking at a series of suspicious multi-million pound land deals in Glasgow which were bought in order to build venues for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the city but one doesn't expect that to amount to much.

In any case, the issue has little to do with Grevemberg's Organising Committee and is more a matter for the City Council.

There has been an obvious media interest in Glasgow 2014, not only because of its proximity to London 2012, but also because of the events that unfolded in Delhi 2010.

Having been in the Indian capital for the entirety of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, I remain steadfast in my belief that Delhi hosted a very good event.

But a shadow may forever be cast over the event due to the shady dealings of the former Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi, who remains in jail following allegations of corruption over the awarding of contracts for the Commonwealth Games.

With Kalmadi's grubby fingerprints all over the event, it was always going to be difficult for India to turn the Commonwealth Games into a springboard for a successful Olympic bid like London 2012 had with the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.

While Glasgow 2014 has never openly tried to distance itself from Delhi, they are certainly going about their business in a very different way.

That much was abundantly clear to me when I visited the city last October for the first Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Coordination Commission for the Games.

Bruce Robertson, the CGF vice-president and chairman of the Coordination Commission, declared the event on time and on budget and said there were "no red flags" following an in-depth four-day inspection of Glasgow 2014.

The welcoming team at the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee were also kind enough to give me a tour of the key venues being built for the Commonwealth Games, including the impressive Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

But the tour was also a reminder to me that while the Commonwealth Games are a major sporting event, they are not the Olympics and Glasgow 2014 will not be London 2012.

The scale of the two events is perhaps best illustrated by this next fact.

Glasgow 2014 recently launched a global search for a team to deliver the Opening and Closing Ceremonies on a combined budget of £14 million ($22 million/€16.81 million) – which is obviously no small sum of money.

But in London, Robertson last month announced that an extra £41 million ($64.2 million/€48 million) will be provided for the London 2012 Ceremonies in addition to £40 million ($62.5million/€45.8 million) set aside by the Organising Committee.

Such facts, however, are unlikely to stop the world's media – and indeed the public at large – heading to Glasgow in 2014 and expecting Olympian standards from the Scottish city.

There is growing talk of Glasgow putting forward a bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, perhaps another indication it cannot hold an event the size of London 2012, but my hope is that the 2014 Commonwealth Games are measured for what they are rather than in comparison to or as a platform for any other event.

Having met the likeable Grevemberg (pictured) on several occasions (who is very interesting – not least because he was formerly a United States Olympic team contender as a college wrestler) I feel he is probably ready for the avalanche of interest that will hit Glasgow 2014 after London 2012.

The whole team is probably ready in principle but in practice, things could be a whole lot different.

Things are quiet now in the Scottish city Glasgow organisers will most likely be able to observe the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in relative peace.

But for them, London 2012 will very much be the calm before the storm.

By Tom Degun

Source: www.insidethegames.biz


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