The point of the Commonwealth Games, besides the obvious sports, is for the competitors and tourists to enjoy the sights and sounds of the host country’s different culture. But for Australia, security concerns might not let the athletes enjoy Delhi at large.
Speaking to HT, Australian weightlifter Ben Turner said they were given “very strict guidelines on what we can and cannot do”.
“We were told today that we can't go anywhere without a designated Delhi 2010 mode of transportation. We all understand that.”
It's a real shame, because he, like other athletes at the presentation of the contingent at the Australian High Commission, is keen on experiencing the country beyond the atmosphere within the Games Village.
“It'd be nice to see a bit of Delhi, even going from A to B you see a vast array of urban environments. It's nice being here just seeing the difference in lifestyle and culture,” said Turner.
When asked whether he'd try a rickshaw, he said, “Is that one of those little yellow and green things? Even just coming here, there were some oohs and aaahs with all those little vehicles swerving in and out.” Steve Moneghetti, Australian chef de mission, was impressed with the safety measures, and added that they have “decided to keep the team in the Village because of security… it seems like the athletes are feeling more relaxed here”.
However, it seems there will be some sightseeing at least for the athletes. “We have been told we are probably going to get an opportunity to see a couple of attractions.” Turner also emphasised the pleasure of mingling in an environment ‘full of top class athletes’.
Shelly Liddelow and Fiona Johnson, of the Hockey Team, were equally enthused by the atmosphere of the event.