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Fun and Games at the Bermuda party

The party’s almost over but the celebrations will continue.It’s been said so many times that sport can unite a country, and there’s been no better example of the Island Games doing just that.A very few will have frowned on the fact that roads were often closed and suffered other inconveniences, but by and large Bermudians have embraced the weeklong festival.The spirit of the Games has been evident at every venue.Raucous crowds have spurred on our swimmers to a slew of medals.And on the occasions that the visiting athletes proved too strong for our own, they were appreciated and applauded.It’s no mean feat to organise an event of such magnitude. The success follows months of meticulous preparation which has bore fruit throughout all the six days of competition.Director Jon Beard and his team should be loudly congratulated.Hitches have been few and far.Bermuda as a whole has welcomed the 2000 and more who filled the sports fields and the streets.Even the losers will admit it’s been a win-win situationed for this small island — much smaller than some who make up the Island Games membership.We’ve lost count of those who have told our reporters this has been by far the best Games they have attended.The cost of flying to Bermuda may have deterred some and prevented potential medal winners to come, but those who did arrive said they were glad they made the effort. This has been more than worthwhile.Aside of the local people, the venues have been praised, six of them in and around the National Sports Centre.Bermudians, particularly football fans, have complained that the NSC lacked the same atmosphere found in club grounds.Maybe that will change now that first Carifta Games and now the Island Games have generated so much enthusiasm.It’s rare that this newspaper will pat itself on the back, but we’d think we’ve played a small part in this week’s success. Certainly our sports reporters and photographers, who have had to work early morning through to late night, have been stretched.But they will concede it’s been worth every minute. And we’d to think our newspaper and website coverage has met expectations.Although, much like the athletes, we always like to think we can do better.Our staff have been warmly received on every occasion — which can’t be said of some of those who we have to deal with on a regular basis. No names mentioned.We also have to thank the various coaches, managers and athletes who have cooperated so much when we weren’t able to visit every venue.We apologise to those who might feel they have been ignored. Logistics have made it difficult so please all.Today marks the last day of competition and there’s still plenty of medals up for grabs. Hopefully, those who receive them will wear them proudly, Bermudians and overseas athletes alike.Maybe Goverment could also present medals to the hundreds, perhaps thousands, who have contributed to the Games overall success.They deserve them.