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Incredible India wins over athletes

The guests from participating nations are busy packing their bags to return to their countries.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | October 14, 2010 3:16:28 am

The guests from participating nations are busy packing their bags to return to their countries,they are also taking with them memories of an ‘amazing’ experience

With the curtains about to fall on this edition of the Commonwealth Games,it is time for the athletes to savour their experiences of the city and the Games. With most of the events already over,there is a sudden spurt of athletes at popular Delhi landmarks like Dilli Haat,Janpath and Connaught Place. And contrary to all the apprehensions and negativity clouding the Games,most of the athletes have given the city a thumbs up.

It is the markets,people,the opening ceremony and the Taj Mahal that have impressed the athletes the most. Shopping at Dilli Haat,Martin Njeru Wyaga ,a Kenyan athlete said,“My bag is full. The people are kind and hospitable. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Village.”

Jessica Stephenson a swimmer from Guyana,a country with considerable Indian influence,said,“My perception of India has changed. People are fantastic and hospitable. Visiting the Taj Mahal was an amazing experience.” Echoing her sentiments is Namibian archer Benjamin Van Wyk. “Taj Mahal is great and it is a must visit for every tourist.”

Commenting on the opening ceremony,Chef-de-Mission of Sierra Leone,Hastings Spine Victor,said,“The opening ceremony was on the scale of the Olympics. India has done a good job and the government’s backing had instilled confidence among nations to come and participate.” Kenyan athlete Susan Kariuki was also mighty impressed with the opening ceremony. “I was surprised. It was very colourful and vibrant. I hope the closing ceremony is equally good.”

Despite feeling that the spectator turnout was low,Canadian lawn bowlers Steve,Keith and Michel enjoyed the Games and their stay at the Village; particularly the food. “It was a wonderful experience. Food was great and we would love to try different Indian cuisines.” Rugby 7s player from Tonga,Taani Kaliti also felt that the food was good. “It’s the spicy food that I liked the most.”

A contingent of 12 students presenting the Glasgow Games noted that the people of Delhi were hospitable. “The people are very kind and helpful. Delhi is a great city. The bad press was unjustified.” Nigerian para-athlete Sasha also feels the same.

Brian,a badminton player from Uganda,summed up the sentiments of most athletes in one sentence. “India is truly incredible.”

Ananya Bhardwaj,Arun Prashanth Subramanian,Jerrin Koshy,Priyanka Rathi reported for the story; they are EXIMS students

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