What a week for Glasgow and the Games

WHAT a wonderful week.

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With Holyrood in recess I've spent every day in Glasgow and with politicians playing nice during the Games, even political reporters can get caught up in the atmosphere.

I have watched many big sporting events such as Olympics and World Cups, always on television, with Allan Wells, Seb Coe and Kenny Dalglish being my earliest sporting heroes.

At each event I thought wouldn't it be brilliant if we had one of these events in Glasgow, never thinking it would ever happen.

And brilliant is exactly what it has been.

In all my years in Glasgow, which is all my life, I have never seen the city like this, and I don't just mean the weather.

There are visitors from places you've never heard of and nothing short of an invasion of English sports fans, all delighted to be in Glasgow and Glaswegians delighted they are here.

The city centre is used to busy days but this has been a different atmosphere, genuinely friendly, everyone is happy and everyone impressed by Glasgow.

I have crossed George Square every morning during the Games and enjoyed seeing the queues of people looking for last-minute tickets and queuing to have their photo taken on the 'Big G'.

Of course there have been some issues with transport and queues, but they appear to have been recognised early, addressed and improved the next day.

My own trip to Hampden for the athletics was smooth with no waiting time at the station or the venue in and out.

The organisation behind it is mind boggling and it is remarkable that any event kicks off at all never mind 17 sports all across the city day after day.

What helps is that people have got behind the Games, which is essential.

GOING to a few events and just walking the streets, I have been proud of my home city and fellow citizens, which is not something I can always say.

What would make me even more proud would be if we can look back in 10 and 20 years from now and see that 2014, the effort, the investment and enthusiasm did make a difference and people's lives were changed for the better.

This week the world has seen the best of Glasgow, but, of course, we all know the scale of its problems and challenges.

Show me a city with no problems and I'll show you a city that doesn't exist.

This week is all about the athletes and their endeavours and warmly welcoming our guests.

The future is about being inspired to seize the opportunities this brings to make life better for all our citizens. We know what the problems are and where they are.

Let's set aboot them.


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