Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of the time I spent in India before and during the 2010 Commonwealth Games however the one question I have been asked the most upon my return is, “was the security as bad as it was made out to be?”
In that instant a thousand thoughts go rushing through my head trying to come up with an answer and to this day I still don’t know how the security was over there. I came back in one piece and so did all my work colleagues so that’s definitely a positive, I didn’t experience any dramas at any of the events I attended and I travelled quite some distance in some cases to get to each of the different venues across the 12 day period.
Firstly the positive aspects. Security swarmed the front of each venue, going through several metal detectors and getting the full body pat down by one sometimes two security personnel at same time was a normal occurrence whether you were entering a Games Arena, the local shopping centre or even you own hotel.
Personal experiences included the time I was made to take one of my Nurofen tablets my personal bag just so the security could confirm that indeed it was a pain relief pill and having to spray my Lynx Deodorant on my skin to again confirm it was nothing but what it claimed to be. It didn’t take long for all this to become a bit of a nuisance but keeping in mind it was all for the benefit of your safety you went along with whatever plans they thought were appropriate
Now for the negative and to an extent it wasn’t all bad. Once navigating your way through the crowd of security and metal detectors it was almost every man for himself. I will admit I had the benefit of having a media pass but as with most normal spectators I still had my limitations of where I could and couldn’t go – supposedly.
I say this because once within half hour of entering the Athletics stadium I found myself standing in awe of this huge building and next to former Australian Olympic runner Matt Shirvington. Somehow I made my way onto the track without so much as a question or hint that I was outside my boundaries, again a situation I found a little odd but you don’t get to walk onto a packed athletics track all that often – especially as it would take me a good 18 seconds to run 100 meters! Later that evening saw me downstairs in the equipment room with the competitors’ javelins, Steve Hooker’s pole vaults, and other expensive athletics equipment.
An interesting experiment would have been to take my media pass from around my neck and see if I could still have accessed the places I did but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I had the issues of getting into different locations but once in there it seemed to be every man and or women for themselves. Good times were had by all and security I tend to think wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be considering you going into a third world country ( I still find it hard to say that due to the amount of people that live there and the intense nature of the whole country.)
It’s the largest event I had ever attended, in terms of security and I have never experienced before some of the conditions that were forced upon me at different times, so it;s hard to know if my experiences were out of the ordinary at large events ? What are your experiences? Were you at the Games, or do you think security measures like these can ever go too far?