As we discussed, both Australia and Canada have pulled out of hosting the Commonwealth Games. The games are for athletes from British commonwealth countries exclusively, and they’re meant to be a Commonwealth version of the Olympics, only much smaller. The thing is, even a smaller version of the Olympic games will still cost a sh-tload of money to host, which is why Canada and Australia both dropped their “winning bids” to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026 and 2030. While I used photos of Prince William and Kate in the previous post – they went to the games in Birmingham last year for one solitary day – it’s King Charles who is getting the blame for the lack of enthusiasm for anything related to the British Commonwealth.
The King cannot evoke the same enthusiasm for the Commonwealth Games as the late Queen, a former Australian diplomat has warned after a second potential host nation pulled out. Alexander Downer, who served as his country’s high commissioner to the UK, said the Canadian province of Alberta’s withdrawal plans for a 2030 Games bid was disastrous coming just weeks after Australian state Victoria withdrew as confirmed host for 2026.
He told The Telegraph: “The Commonwealth revolved very much around the [late] Queen and I used to argue that if it hadn’t been for [her], it’s hard to believe the Commonwealth would have held together. And it’s not that anybody has a problem with the King… but he doesn’t have the same aura that the [late] Queen had about her, yet.”
Mr Downer added that it has become “hard to generate any enthusiasm” for the Commonwealth Games after the “perfect storm” of factors, including the death of the late Queen last year and escalating costs of putting on the event.
“It’s an incredibly serious time for the Commonwealth,” Mr Downer told The Telegraph, adding that the Games, the most high-profile Commonwealth event, “has now entered a period where its future is uncertain”.
“It’s another huge blow, and the Games brand is taking a major hit to its reputation,” said the executive, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Immediate and radical action is needed from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) at this point to save the event.” One of the solutions that has been suggested is a financial restructuring of the event to make it “much more modest” and “not on the lines of the Olympic Games”.
[From The Telegraph]
Maybe it’s because Americans can’t participate, but I’m left feeling like… why all the drama to save the games? Why not just take the L and say that the games have outlived their usefulness? Within the Telegraph’s report, various people suggest that the games should be reimagined so that they’re smaller and less expensive, and could perhaps be hosted by cities which already have existing infrastructure. All of which are good ideas, but will anyone follow through on it? Will they actually put people in charge who are willing to make deep cuts in the program and make smart decisions about the cost? Or will they just blame everything on King Charles? Like, I know there are a lot of factors and God knows, I think Charles is dogsh-t, but the Commonwealth Games have much bigger problems than “Charles is not popular in Commonwealth countries.” If that’s the excuse they want to use though, who am I to stand in their way.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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