Athletics bores me, but the Commonwealth Games grabbed my attention

There is nothing quite like an athletics event to get me yawning and reaching for another biscuit as I curse my lack of sporting prowess. Even during London 2012, I failed to get excited about a bunch of people who could run faster, jump higher or lift heavier than everyone else. This year’s Commonwealth Games feels a little different to me, though. Not least because I was in host city, Gold Coast, in the run up, and felt the buzz of excitement that was building. “Are you here for the Games?” e

Gold Coast travel: how the 2018 Commonwealth Games host is the ultimate playground

“We’re building the ultimate place to play.” The billboards dotting the Gold Coast make no secret of the work that has been done to prepare for the Commonwealth Games. My visit coincides with organisers putting the final touches to world-class stadia and a glittering, open-air aquatic centre. This will be no Rio, they insist. They are ready. And what an apt slogan: the Gold Coast is, after all, Australia’s playground. By day, joggers and surfers make the most of the pristine sand and surf at C

Ignore the hiccups: the Gold Coast is the perfect host for the Commonwealth Games

It’s sod’s law. The Commonwealth Games opened with a downpour in the city that boasts 300 days of sunshine a year. But spirits were still high in Carrera Stadium as the opening ceremony took place. The Gold Coast looked set for the Games when I visited a few weeks ago. The beachside city of 600,000 that has in the past been branded seedy certainly scrubs up well. The organisers were determined not to have a repeat of Rio: no algae-green pools, no “state of public calamity”. Sure, it wasn’t wit