There have been questions raised recently about the relevance of the Commonwealth Games. From witnessing the 2018 games on the Gold Coast in April, I can ensure everyone that the games have meaning.
Bronte Campbell and Kyle Chalmers last night churned up the Commonwealth Games pool on the Gold Coast to anchor two spine-tingling medley relay golds for the hosts.
But it was worth far more than just the colour, as important as that was at the time.
The inspirational and the motivational levels they generated will be there for eternity.
That’s the Australian way, with both Campbell and Chalmers showing such immense fighting qualities that they coined a new version on the old saying of ‘cometh the hour, cometh the anchors’.
Campbell, who beat her older sister Cate in both the 100 freestyle and for a place in the relay, had to come from behind to down the quality Canadian Taylor Ruck by a touch to set a new Comm Games record.
The 19-year-old Chalmers, just a year after heart surgery, showed how big his updated ticker was to do the same to Englishman Ben Pound, for another Games record.
Watching them both had the hair on the back of my neck standing on end, and it made me think of the times the baggy greens needed that standard of inspiration, and motivation, to overcome tough opposition.
So too the Wallabies, and the Davis Cup team. To have both those finals on tape for regular viewing would lift the morale of any sport.
If it didn’t, the culprits had no right to be there in the first place.
Sure, Campbell and Chalmers were members of a team who all played their part in the success, but the biggest pressure and the most responsibility were left in their capable hands.
And they not only passed the test with honours, but clinched a record haul of Comm Games gold medals in the pool for the hosts – 28 from 50 events, for a 56 per cent return.
That England was second, with just nine golds, rammed home the point.
The knockers will say the Aussies had nothing to beat with the Americans and European countries not on duty. But you can only beat what’s in front of you, and they did it comprehensively.
A special salute to Australian wheelchair legend Kurt Fearnley.
Last night, the 37-year-old, winner of three Paralympic golds, was pipped at the post on the track in the 1500 metres by 0.17 of a second.
Canadian Alexandre Dupont took off 500 from home and, bit-by-bit, the courageous Fearnley narrowed the gap, only to fall short by a fingernail.
Kurt is a true champion and a top bloke – he’ll bow out on Sunday in the marathon.
That event has to be the ultimate in courage.