From the moment the opening ceremony kicked off, everything about these Games has been a huge credit to Glasgow and to Scotland. The atmosphere in the city has been electric - everyone has played their part in ensuring the tens of thousands of visitors have been made to feel at home. Even the Scottish weather has done its bit. And of course, our fantastic athletes have pulled off a record medal haul, smashing previous totals plus national records and personal bests.
Backed by Scottish Government and Lottery investment, Sportscotland has implemented a world-class performance system. The collaborative approach between the athletes, Team Scotland support staff, coaches, and the experts at the Sportscotland Institute of Sport has delivered outstanding success.
Hearing the national anthem in venues across the city has been hugely inspiring and emotional, and we have celebrated every medal as if it was the most important one. But we aren't just celebrating our medal-winners; every single member of Team Scotland has been incredible and their performances have done Scotland proud. They have shown extreme dedication to their sport, committing a huge amount of time and effort into something the love, culminating in representing their country on the global stage. There is no higher honour.
And we cannot forget the part that Glasgow has played in delivering what are the best and friendliest Commonwealth Games ever. The people of Glasgow, and across the country, have made these 11 days the success they've been. From the rapturous applause given to all of the athletes at the opening ceremony, to the support given to every competitor at every venue, we have extended the warmest of welcomes to our Commonwealth neighbours. Our Clydesiders have also been one of the biggest successes of the Games and we should take the upmost pride in the part these volunteers have played. And there was the impeccable work of our emergency services and armed forces, ensuring we have had a safe environment for athletes, spectators and volunteers alike.
Of course, none of this happened overnight - it's the culmination of years of hard work. This journey started on that successful night in Sri Lanka seven years ago and we have put in an enormous amount of work into making sure we were ready. We were more than ready - and within budget. That is an almost unprecedented position for a major event of this type and is testament to the immense planning, knowledge, expertise and sheer determination that everyone involved in the Games has shown. It shows that we can rise to the challenge. We must now look ahead at how we can use the athletes' performances to inspire the next generation - and use the priceless exposure of the past couple of weeks to ensure an investment and jobs legacy for Scotland.
Lord McConnell, first minister of Scotland 2001-7 and a member of the Unicef UK advisory board for the Glasgow 2014 partnership: Many of us are in a state of euphoria about the dazzling success of the Games in Glasgow. Superb sporting endeavour and camaraderie, vibrant culture and colour across the city and beyond: we can all be proud that we know how to host a gathering, and we can pull it off! But I am prouder still of the message the Games have sent out around the world about the humanity and compassion of our nation. As well as the tongue-in-cheek humour and pathos of an uplifting opening ceremony, Glasgow and Scotland have sent a resounding cry in support of the children of the Commonwealth.
Across the Commonwealth, far too many children - especially girls - do not receive a proper education, far too many die from preventable diseases, and far, far too many suffer daily from hunger and fear. We know that these conditions can be changed, but it takes people to will the change, and it takes resources to make it happen.
As an adviser to Unicef, I want to say a genuine thanks to everyone, both in the stadium for the opening ceremony and those watching at home, for making this unique statement in support of children around the world so successful. We stood shoulder to shoulder with those children, raising our phones and with a simple text said together that we want to Put Children First.
Making such a powerful statement at a sporting event of this magnitude took courage and no short amount of planning. But from the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee to the Commonwealth Games Federation and of course cross-party political support, we have shown how powerful a simple idea can be.
The vision of former Unicef president, Lord David Puttnam, was crucial in pulling off this sporting coup. He has known since his Oscar-winning production of Chariots Of Fire that sport has the power to inspire and transform lives. Thanks also to Ewan McGregor, James McAvoy, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Chris Hoy who spoke so powerfully for children. They are great ambassadors for Scotland. And those "Flying Scots", the inspirational Glaswegians who brought the stories of hope for children from across the Commonwealth, and made those stories real for all of us watching in the stadium and beyond. Together they helped transform a simple idea into a global rallying call. That call was heeded and amplified by the people of Glasgow and the Commonwealth.
From Celtic Park to Ibrox, from Scotstoun to Strathclyde Park, we've witnessed world-class sports competition to find our Commonwealth medal-winners. But Glasgow 2014 will also be remembered for Unicef's "games changer" and the chance it gives to millions of children to build a better future. We've planted a seed that will grow and grow in the years to come, so let's hope this moment in time provides its own inspiration for every great sporting gathering that follows. Yes, let us celebrate great endeavour and skill but let's make it count for something even more important; let children flourish. Put Children First.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of Glasgow 2104: The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has enjoyed real success. That comes down not only to the athletes who delivered record-breaking performances, but also to the individuals, communities, businesses and organisations across Scotland who have taken the Games to heart and worked to ensure that its impact will be felt for many years to come.
Glasgow 2014's vision was to stage an outstanding, athlete-centred and sport-focused Games of world-class competition which will be celebrated across the Commonwealth, generate enormous pride in Glasgow and Scotland, and leave a lasting legacy. We have worked closely with our partners the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland to make that vision a reality.
Glasgow's environment and infrastructure has been improved for the Games - that includes transport, utilities and the regeneration of the east end. The city's sporting venues have been upgraded and new landmark venues, such as the Emirates Arena - which includes the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome - the SSE Hydro and the Glasgow National Hockey Centre have been added to the city. These venues will be a lasting legacy for athletes, coaches, governing bodies, young people and local communities.
The economic impact of the Games can't be ignored and with more than £300 million worth of Commonwealth Games contracts awarded - and £250m of those contracts going to Scottish businesses - the Games really has made a difference in terms of business opportunities, jobs and training. The hospitality and tourism industries have been given a real boost and major events have been attracted to Glasgow in 2015 and beyond. The Games has given businesses a global platform on which to grow. The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council are working on long-term, evidence-based, legacy planning to ensure momentum is sustained post-Games.
The sense of pride and confidence that comes from being a host city can't be underestimated. From young people who have been inspired to take up sport to individuals who have gained new skills through volunteering or training, the legacy of the XX Commonwealth Games is only just beginning.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland: From the moment the giant Nessie and dancing teacakes tottered around Celtic Park I knew we were on to a winner! After seven years in the making, the Commonwealth Games burst into life with a celebration of everything that is great about Scotland: our culture, our music, our humour and of course our people.
For me, alongside our amazing athletes, it has been the people of Scotland that have made Glasgow 2014 so unforgettable. It is this warm and welcoming atmosphere that will contribute to the tourism legacy of the XX Games. It is the thing visitors will remember and it is the thing that will make them return.
As a result of the high profile of the Commonwealth Games, beamed to millions of homes across the world, one of the lasting legacies of the Games will be more visitors - not just to Glasgow, but Scotland as a whole. Attracting more visitors helps create jobs, sustain communities and contributes to our economy. Never before have we been able to promote Scotland to so many people at once. Never before have we had the chance to show a global TV audience of more than a billion people that although Scotland may be small, we have the cultural clout, standards, facilities and the skills to deliver a world-class event. If even a fraction of that audience is inspired to visit and experience Scotland's landscapes and cities it will be a fantastic legacy of the Games.
But of course, it's not that easy, we can't expect people to come see us on the strengths of what they've watched on their TV. The world doesn't owe Scotland a tourism industry, and we must spend this year converting interest in the country into visitors for years to come.
Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council: From second city of the Empire to first city of the Commonwealth. I share the pride felt by all Glaswegians on what is now universally regarded as the best Commonwealth Games there have ever been.
In the city itself there has been a fantastic buzz. Our population has doubled in size during Games time and our citizens and visitors have enjoyed the biggest sporting and cultural festival Scotland has ever seen.
None of this happened by accident. Glasgow has been investing in sport and culture for many years. This has been part of a regeneration strategy led by the city council. We will take the same rigorous, long-term approach to ensure lasting benefits accrue to the city. Already £200m of Games-related contracts have been won by Glasgow companies and 5,000 jobs and apprenticeships have been created through the council's £50m Glasgow Guarantee.
Membership of sports clubs has trebled in Glasgow since 2009 and tourism is continuing to grow with 2.2 million visits to the city each year - there are more people working in tourism in Glasgow today than have worked in the shipyards in my lifetime. And we've just signed a £1.13 billion City Deal with the UK Government that will be the basis for future economic growth across the Clyde Valley.
We also never rest on our laurels. We're hosting the MTV European Music Awards later this year, and the World Gymnastics Championships and Turner Prize in 2015. This is a remarkable city that faces challenges head on and has been transforming herself very successfully. Now, the rest of the world knows just how good we are.
Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce: The Games have already had an amazing and measurable impact for business, not only in Glasgow, but across Scotland. The event itself has brought more than one million people into Glasgow, with money being spent in our shops, bars, restaurants, and hotels. There is also the massive pipeline of suppliers who are not as visible, including those supplying food for the Athletes' Village.
In financial terms the early indicators are that projected turnover has surpassed expectations. In terms of promoting and selling the best we have to offer, we have created a fantastic footprint and shown the world what expertise, creativity and ambition Scotland has.
What happens next will be uppermost in all our minds. We can already see and touch the massive infrastructure and assets that have been put in place, for example, new housing, roads, financial regeneration and investment. So how do you capture the renewed confidence and expertise to continue on this path of success? Winning more investment, more business and sharing that wealth with all.
It is now up to the family of Scotland and the Commonwealth to put in place alliances and partnerships which will build new business connections, with a very clear focus on how we enable our small businesses to increase their turnover and profitability through exporting and importing with our new trading Commonwealth family. I am pleased that with government support, our Chambers of Commerce in Scotland will be matching up with chambers across the Commonwealth to achieve this.
Louise Martin, vice-chairwoman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and chairwoman of Sportscotland: The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have undoubtedly been a resounding success. Not only have the athletes delivered a record-breaking medal tally for Team Scotland, but the city of Glasgow has put on a Games to remember. The Clydesiders have helped all our friends from across the Commonwealth enjoy a fantastically friendly welcome; the competitions and venues have been excellent.
The excitement and enthusiasm we have seen in Glasgow over the past two weeks has been replicated across the country, and it is now imperative that we use this as a catalyst to get more people involved in sport and physical activity.
Over the past seven years, Sportscotland has been putting the plans and programmes in place to ensure we deliver a genuine lasting sporting legacy - and we are already making huge progress. A key component of that legacy will be seen through our community sport hubs, which have benefitted from £1.5m of National Lottery investment each year since 2010. We set out with an ambition to deliver at least 150 hubs across all 32 of Scotland's local authorities by 2016, and with 131 already up and running we are well on track to deliver. These hubs are bringing local communities together to offer more opportunities for people to get involved in sport and physical activity and they are helping us to create a strong pathway connecting school sport, clubs, and high performance.
Hosting the Games has certainly shone the light on Glasgow, and Scotland, and we have proved what a wonderful destination it is for world-class sport. With the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September and the World Gymnastics Championships coming to The Hydro in 2015, more international events are already on their way to Scotland.
Not only has Scotland proved itself as a world-class location for sport, but the facilities on offer throughout the country are also the best they have ever been. These wonderful facilities, such as the Emirates Arena and Aberdeen Sports Village, will help to continue to attract wonderful sporting events, as well as providing a lasting legacy for the communities which they serve.
We also now have the most sophisticated performance system ever in Scotland, and the partnership between the athletes, Team Scotland support staff, sport governing bodies, scientists, and practitioners at the Sportscotland Institute of Sport has delivered when it really mattered.
Glasgow 2014 represented a defining moment for sport in this country and we are delivering a sporting legacy to be proud of.