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Spiers at the Games: my 10 favourite things about Glasgow 2014

Here are my 10 favourite things - memories I will cherish - about the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games…

1 The spectators

Sport is about the competing, but modern professional sport is also about the audience. Did any city's inhabitants ever do it better than Glasgow's? These Games have been richly enhanced by the sheer numbers of fans who have attended the contests, and the fervour they have brought to the arena. Hampden has been a brilliant spectacle in its own right, but anyone who has been at Tollcross, the Velodrome, the SECC or the Hydro will know what I'm talking about. The people have made these Games immense.

2 Aileen McGlynn, para-cyclist

I love this athlete. I think she's brilliant. And her back-story only adds to the sheer feat of her accomplishments. McGlynn, having set many world records and won gold in the Paralympics, won two silver medals in tandem sprints in Glasgow, yet has had to fight for financial backing, having seen various sources of income dry up. Partially-sighted, her strength and fitness in the back seat behind her pilot, Louise Haston, have to be seen to be believed. McGlynn is one of the greats of contemporary Scottish sport.

3 Jerusalem

I say this even as a Scot… this is the ultimate lip-trembler. England's athletes, denied God Save The Queen due to the home nations' rivalries, are lucky to have this as their anthem. Every time I hear this piece - or even sing it in church - I feel my bottom lip go. When David Weir won the T54 1500m on Thursday night and collected his gold, the anthem rose up from Hampden with a heart-stopping beauty. It is majestic.

4 The River Clyde

To be frank, I've taken the old waterway for granted in Glasgow, but these Commonwealth Games have suddenly elevated the River Clyde to an almost iconic status. Glittering in the sunlight, and being the perennial backdrop to so many events, the Clyde has come into its own as a thing of beauty, speaking its own story about the industrial history of the city. It is a magnificent feature.

5 The BBC's coverage

No other word for it - brilliant. Auntie has come into her own in covering the Games. On TV the various presenters - Gary Lineker, Mark Chapman and Clare Balding - have offered a comprehensive range, while Radio Scotland and 5 Live, often working in tandem, have crackled with energy and humour in depicting the scene. Balding and Chapman's Tonight At The Games on BBC1 deserves special mention - this programme became essential viewing for its busy, witty, harum-scarum coverage of each day's events.

6 Rugby at Ibrox

This was a must-see event, providing thrilling rugby and a fantastic atmosphere, which has to be repeated. In fact, I hope the SRU and Rangers combined can see the sense in bringing further big oval-ball fixtures to the stadium. Ibrox has often attracted negative comment about its atmosphere at football matches, but rugby provided something totally different. Vast crowds descended and the noise and colour generated were highly impressive.

7 Glasgow's bike lanes

I'm very rarely on my bike these days. And I had hardly - if ever - biked my way about Glasgow before. But having spent these last 10 days in the saddle I can now vouch for Glasgow being a place where biking is both great fun and time-effective. Part of the ethos of the Games was to encourage everyone to "get on your bike" and it proved a very meaningful and inspiring message. I'm not saying I'm abandoning my car - but cycling will live in the memory as a spin-off of Glasgow 2014.

8 The para-sports

I'll be honest: I had never before found them very exciting. I found athletes racing in wheelchairs, in the main, pretty dull. Not any more. Part of the brilliance of Glasgow 2014 has been in the integration of able-bodied and impaired sports competing side by side, and the Hampden crowds that I sat among were engrossed in many of the para-races. David Weir, the sprinter, is a phenomenon of modern sport. Just like London 2012, Glasgow 2014 has taken para-sports to a new level.

9 The Clydesiders

I don't know how they did it but…was there even one bad apple among the army of Clydesiders who were there to help us? As I bombed about Glasgow on my bike I frequently needed to stop and ask a (stupid) question, and was met with constant courtesy, advice and good humour. Whoever vetted and rounded up these 15,000 volunteers did an impressive job.

10 The bleating football community

I love football. I'm steeped in football. But what has amused during these past 10 days has been the simpering and welching of the football bods who have dismissed the Games as "the school sports" and the rest. Well, there's much more to sport than just football. Anyway, don't worry, chaps, the Petrofac Training Cup will soon be upon us.

Do you agree with Graham or want to put forward alternative highlights? Post your comment below. Normal forum rules apply.

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