Glasgow 2014: 'selfie Games' end with Kylie stage bomb - video

Aug 4, 2014

Australian Genevieve LaCaze gatecrashes the stage during Kylie set as Commonwealth Games come to an end

Ian Walton/Getty Images

Australian steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze was the star of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony after she gatecrashed the stage during Kylie Minogue's set to celebrate her 25th birthday and, as she explained afterwards, get a bit of "TV time".

The athlete popped up on stage as Kylie disappeared for a costume change, and took her place alongside a group of topless male dancers, before being removed.

Afterwards she told Australian TV: "I just wanted a little bit of claim to fame. I wanted a little bit of TV time; I am turning 25, so why not.

"I haven't gotten in trouble yet. I could have grabbed the microphone and shown a little bit of vocals but I don't know how talented I am in that area."

"Her spontaneity was one of the highlights of the closing ceremony," says The Guardian. It notes that she was on stage for more than a minute before she was "escorted off by security guards, who appeared to be taken by surprise by the incursion".

Aside from gatecrashing athletes, the event's closing ceremony featured sets from Lulu and Deacon Blue as well as Kylie, who was representing the Games' next destination, Gold Coast City in Australia. 

"It was a fitting end to a triumphant Commonwealth Games," says Oliver Brown of the Daily Telegraph. And the festivities began after another day of success for British athletes, with cyclists Geraint Thomas and Lizzie Armitstead claiming gold in the men and women's road races. Emma Pooley of England was second in the women's race in her final outing before retirement.

"The Games have been a vindication... of the investment in Olympic sports after 2012," adds Brown. "After Britain's total of 29 gold medals at those Games, the greatest haul since 1908, England supplanted Australia at the summit of the Commonwealth Games medal table for the first time in 28 years, with 58 golds to 49."

The Commonwealth Games appear "a strange concept in 2014, born of imperialistic avarice," says Rick Broadbent of The Times. "But the frontiers are wider in many ways than at any other sporting event."

The smaller nations are able to participate, even if their athletes are not at elite level, while there are superstars to enjoy as well.

Cynics compare them unfavourably to the Olympics, "but the Commonwealth Games actually top the Olympics in various ways", says Broadbent. "They are less despoiled by rampant commercialism, include popular, accessible sports, such as squash and netball, and they include Para-sport as more than a token."

But the success of the Glasgow Games has been down to the people of the city, says Andy Bull of The Guardian, who describes them as the first "selfie Games".

The sport is often obscure and far below elite level (Malaysia vs Niue in lawn bowls, for example) but the events were almost all sold out and the fans were there to have fun.

"The Games are unashamedly of and for the host city. If the locals aren't into it, don't enjoy it, then the Games look ridiculous and feel redundant, as they did in Delhi," Bull says. "The enthusiasm of hundreds of thousands of Glaswegians has been the 'amazing', 'astonishing', 'astounding', thing about these Games, not the sport. This has been the city's success."

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