Games 'Exceeded Expectations'

The Commonwealth Games has exceeded expectations and provided an exciting experience from start to end, organisers have said.

The leaders of some of the teams competing praised the planning and welcome they received.

England chef de mission Jan Paterson said it had been a 'fantastic experience' throughout.

'Every single member of Team England has received the warmest of welcomes from the moment they arrived in Glasgow to their event finishing and that has made these Games so very special.

'We would like to publicly say thank you to the volunteers, fans in the stadium and the people of Glasgow who have played such a pivotal role in making these Games a success and so enjoyable for us.

'The team at Glasgow 2014 have done a great job in delivering a high quality Games where every single athlete has had the chance to shine in world class venues in front of appreciative crowds so a very big Team England congratulations to them.'

Chantal Petitclerc, chef de mission of the Canadian team, said: 'We were confident the Games were going to be very well organised and that the venues would be really good, high performance venues. We had no doubt about that. The next thing is you also want it to be a good experience and for the Games to have atmosphere and a bit of magic.

'We were very happy to see that in fact this was exactly what happened - the athletes are having good performances but also having an amazing experiences.

``The food is good, the venues are good, our coaches are happy, the athletes are happy, so it's all very positive.'

'I think Glasgow can be very proud of these Games. They have put on a top level Games.

'Every athlete in every venue has been delighted with the amount of support that they get from the crowd. Everybody is loud and enthusiastic. Everybody in the city is very helpful. The amazing volunteers are doing a great job.'

And Robert McVeigh, Northern Ireland's chef de mission, congratulated Glasgow for ``superb planning''.

'I think the athletes have enjoyed themselves and put up good performances as a result of things running successfully,' he said.

'The volunteers have been excellent, very helpful, and most of them have a smile on their face as they do their job. Everything together has worked to continue the friendly games.

'The weather here has added to the Games. The weather at the start of the Games was superb and got everybody out.

'Sport has the capacity to bring people together better than the United Nations. I think that that has been achieved here in Glasgow. People have been brought together.'

Team Scotland chef de mission Jon Doig also gave his reasons for the Games' success: 'Very early investment back in the athletes and coaches programmes, great support systems, also the support we have got from local communities.

He added: 'Once they have got here, the phenomenal home crowds and the platform Glasgow 2014 has provided them. Put those things together then you have a great team and great result.

'We worked very hard in the lead-up to the Games in terms of getting the athletes together and realising they are part of something huge, and they really respond to that.'

David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said: 'The games has gone according to plan but has also exceeded our expectations in so many ways. We have been absolutely delighted and overwhelmed with the response from the people of Glasgow, across Scotland and throughout the Commonwealth in embracing the sport. Also the celebration and refreshing the conversation on what it means to be the Commonwealth.

'I think the legitimacy and credibility of the games themselves and the relevance of the Commonwealth are two elements that have come out very very clearly through these games.

'There have been so many highlights, starting with the opening ceremony which was audacious and confident with beauty and charm and excitement.

'But I think the response of the athletes and the response of the people of the Commonwealth, particularly in Glasgow, have really made the charm of these games a reality. You just have to look at the rugby sevens, an amazing event with an amazing atmosphere, but that was not just isolated to rugby sevens, it was throughout all the venues that our athletes received an incredibly warm response and an absolutely inspiring atmosphere.'

Scotland's sport secretary Shona Robison said the city has been 'absolutely buzzing', demonstrating that Scotland can put on a 'fantastic' show.

'Everybody should be very proud of what they've achieved,' she said.

Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: 'I share the pride felt by all Glaswegians on what is now universally regarded as the best Commonwealth Games there have ever been.

'There's been a fantastic buzz in the city in the last fortnight. Our population has doubled in size during Games time and our citizens and visitors have enjoyed the biggest sporting and cultural festival Scotland has ever seen.

'I now look forward to seeing the people of Glasgow enjoy the long-term benefits the Games leave behind.

'Glasgow is a remarkable place which faces challenges head on and has been transforming herself very successfully. The rest of the world now know just how good we areDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg attended a training session at Murrayfield Wanderers RFC ground in Edinburgh this morning.

He said: 'On the last weekend of the Commonwealth Games it's a great weekend to celebrate sport, and how sport brings people together.

'It's been a very proud moment for Glasgow, for Scotland and indeed for the United Kingdom that the Commonwealth Games have gone so successfully. They have really been a wonderful festival of outstanding sport.

'I have been rooting for all the best athletes, but certainly also for home countries across the UK.

'Just to see the joy and the competitive spirit, particularly amongst the athletes from the different UK countries, the way they train together, they are often on the same team together in other competitions like the Olympics, to see them compete against each other has been a wonderful spectacle of sport.'

The Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied in Edinburgh by his predecessor as Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell, and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.

Mr Rennie said: 'It's been a tremendous experience. I have been through (to Glasgow) three times myself and you can just feel the vibe, the excitement, the pride that people in Glasgow have for such an excellent set of sportsmen from across the globe taking part right on their doorstep.

'I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It has been good for Glasgow, it's been good for Scotland, but most of all it has been good for sport.'

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