All good things come to an end, but few in this good a way. Games athletes bid adieu to Delhi by letting their hair loose at the newly opened club, Quantum, in Noida, a day before the official closing ceremony. A caravan of CWG cabs pulled up with a motley group of athletes from New Zealand, Bermuda, Wales, St Vincent, Jamaica and Namibia, and that’s when the real CWG party started.The resident DJ pumped up the action with blaring beats, and players stepped out of their inhibitions and onto the dance floor, drinks in hand. "I just want to dance!" said 22-year-old Reece Papuni, a boxer with the New Zealand team, and shimmied away to show that he meant it.
Wales’ cycling champ Nicole Cooke, who finished fifth this year, after having won the gold in 2002 and the bronze in 2006, danced with a group of Indian guests. "All the training, all the hard work, it’s all done now. I have enjoyed every minute here, and tonight is no exception," he beamed.
Another group of players from Wales thought its best to chill out at the bar. “It’s been exhausting. Some of us are trying to plan quick vacations once the closing is over. Let’s see if we can manage something,” they said.
Members of the Jamaican team seemed to enjoy thoroughly even as they kept to themselves. “The security has been crazy; it was like being the president of a country! This is fun; we just want to party and enjoy the time left,” said an athlete as she danced with her group of gal pals.
Dan Craven, a cyclist from the Namibian team, also the grandson of legendary rugby player Danie Craven, stood gobsmacked not only at the size of the club, but also at the pretty Indian girls. “This city knows how to party. Indian girls are so pretty! Look, how dressed up they all are,” he said.
The only crib we came across was when Bermuda team members Chantelle and Ellen wanted the DJ to play “more Caribbean music that hip-hop”, which he gladly did.