Commonwealth Team Doctor for Scotland
Dr Alastair Nicol is currently in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games as Team Doctor for Scotland. Unfortunately, communication by email is slightly problematic so he is unable to blog regularly about his experiences. However, he did manage to send us a short report on his thoughts to date and will post again when he returns after the Games.
'The XIX Commonwealth Games are now well under way. India promised they would deliver a superb games, and they are doing just that. Unfortunately it took until after the start of the games before everything was in place.
The accommodation in the Athletes Village tower blocks are described as 'luxury' and will be sold off for large amounts of money after the games. They look good and are well apportioned, but don't get too close: the finish on tiling, painting, plumbing and electrics is very poor indeed. When you put the washing machine on, you get a shower as you walk outside the building! However, we would describe them as basic and they are comfortable enough.
Most of the venues are new or reconditioned and are very impressive - sadly, they are rarely filled by many spectators. Many of Delhi's middle classes have taken the opportunity of the extended public holiday to go overseas, so those that could afford it are no longer around. The organising committee have missed a trick here - why not fill each stadium with local schoolchildren to inspire them for the future and create a carnival atmosphere. The only nearly full stadium was last night when India played Scotland in the mens hockey and it was awesome!
The fears around 'Delhi belly' have not been an issue. Yes, there have been several cases of 'loose stools', but rarely have the athletes or staff been unwell enough to require hospital admission. We had to exclude Dengue fever in one staff member, otherwise biting insects have been less of a problem. More irritating have been the millions of moths at the venues in the evenings - they don't bite but they get everywhere. And the food in the dining hall is very good indeed so no complaints on that side.
At halfway through the games, some events are already finished (swimming, track cycling and gymnastics), but many are just hotting up as they head towards the medal rounds of the competition. It should be a great few days!
Dr Alastair Nicol