Scotland hosts the 20th Commonwealth Games from 24 Jul to 3 Aug 2014 and preparations began early with a plan to send up to 10,000 Glaswegians - from waitresses to taxi drivers - on a charm school course.
The course, based on principles created by the Walt Disney company, covers speaking properly, projecting positive body language and maintaining eye contact while talking to visitors to the Games. Though any idea for improving the visitor experience would seem to be good sense, several high profile figures see the charm school plan as insulting to Glaswegians. The organizers describe demand for tickets -- 2.3 million requests for up to one million tickets in the first four weeks -- as phenomenal. Games participants must be amateurs and must be qualified by birth or residence in some member country (or a dependency of a member country) of the Commonwealth. The competition embraces athletics, gymnastics, bowls and swimming events for men and women, and boxing, cycling, shooting, weight lifting and wrestling for men only. Rowing, shooting, badminton and fencing have also been included occasionally.
Date written/update: 2013-11-20