BY KAVITHA ARULJOTHI
2010 started off with excitement as Team SquashStars decided to make Commonwealth Games (CWG) Delhi 2010 our debut overseas coverage. From mainly covering tournaments in Malaysia, the team felt the time was right to venture into something bigger and CWG was apt, being the pinnacle of squash accolades apart from the annual World Open.
We started making plans very early in the year to capitalize on good flight and hotel rates. Next, we blocked out dates for squash coverage (since that was the main purpose of our trip) but we had to tour around “Incredible India” as well! We had a 3-day chunk to utilize and the obvious decision was made—we chose to visit the Golden Triangle consisting of Delhi, Agra (home to Taj Mahal, the monument of love) and Jaipur.
Before we knew it, June came by. We purchased our squash tickets for the Games via the CWG site (which was not the easiest system to use) but once that was sorted, we were set to go! Or so we thought.
The weeks after that saw India in the global limelight—under a red, negative lense. It seemed that numerous problems plagued the prestigious Commonwealth Games and the situation seemed to worsen with each passing day. Unfinished venues, collapsing facilities, dengue outbreak, monsoon rains, militant attacks… need I say more? Our hopes of live blogging were also dashed upon knowing that wifi and telecommunication lines were to be barred at Siri Fort Sports Complex, which played host to the squash games. Our attempts at getting a media pass ended in vain too.
There came a point when we reconsidered making this long-awaited trip. Was it worth the risk? Would the Games go on as scheduled? With so many qualms, we unanimously decided to watch the situation closely, keeping our fingers and toes crossed.
Today, a mere 2 days away from the Opening Ceremony, things are looking much more optimistic! The venues have gotten better reviews and thumbs up from athletes who have braved their way to Delhi amidst the chaos. It seems that as truthful as the media reports were, they were lopsided. The organizers in India have picked up their slack and gotten things in order.
We fly out to the capital of India tomorrow and we’re very excited! India could very well spring up an enchanting experience for us all at the Games. This is our sunny disposition.
Keep abreast with our daily blog and while you sit back to read squash updates, look out for stories on our adventures or misadventures as we explore North India.
Let the Games begin!