Government made a mess of Games opening ceremony

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2009, 12:00am

I was extremely disappointed with the East Asian Games opening ceremony on Saturday.

I attended it because my daughter is one of the athletes.

I spent HK$1,000 to get a ticket to support her and all the athletes but they were nowhere to be seen.

I was really annoyed about this arrangement. We expect to be able to see all the athletes.

We were supposed to welcome the athletes from other places as well, but it turned out to be a Victoria Harbour carnival or a Chinese New Year fireworks display.

Why can't an opening ceremony of such a big sporting event be held properly, in a stadium?

I attended the opening ceremony of the last East Asian Games and other games.

It was fantastic to see the athletes proceeding into the stadium and the atmosphere was wonderful. It was the climax of the ceremony and everybody was expecting that.

My daughter said this was the weirdest opening ceremony for them.

They were all on a ferry but could not see anything, did not know what was going on and were separated from other teams, which is not the usual practice.

We all saw the procession in the Beijing Olympics. It lasted for more than an hour but it was necessary.

Organisers should never be allowed to strip athletes of the right to appear in this ceremony. They should always be granted this privilege.

Does the government understand how hard the athletes have been working and how much it means to them to be able to wear the uniforms and march in a stadium?

They are the stars of the Games and the pride belongs to them, not to Victoria Harbour, nor to the Hong Kong government.

This clearly shows the total insensitivity of our government officials. They just wanted to show off.

I cannot believe they could have stolen the athletes' thunder in this way.

It is well-known that the government is half-hearted in supporting our sporting events.

Most of our Hong Kong athletes are amateurs or students. Those who are working have to get time off, unpaid, or have their salary deducted to attend the Games.

They are all willing to make these sacrifices, because they love Hong Kong. But what was supposed to be a respectful and solemn opening ceremony for them turned out to be an entertaining showcase for the government.

The passing and lighting of the torch on such a tiny stage looked to me like a scene from the former TVB entertainment show Enjoy Yourself Tonight.

What an insult to our athletes and a shame for Hong Kong.

K. Chan, Tai Po