Australian closing ceremony flag bearer Kurt Fearnley says the circumstances surrounding the event’s conclusion shouldn’t overshadow the “best and most inclusive” Games we've had.
Outrage has been sparked amongst fans, media commentators and more, after the decision was made to leave athletes walking into the stadium off the broadcast, which robbed many of their opportunity to celebrate the success of the Games.
While conceding mistakes were made, Fearnley says the controversy has been overblown, and there are larger issues worth getting angry about.
“It was a strange experience,” he told SEN Afternoons.
“There were a lot of people blowing up on social media. If you’ve had anything to do with my journey, I’m not one to blow up over those things.
“I love my sport and I’m sure there are plenty of athletes and parents of athletes from all around the Commonwealth who would have loved to see their guys come into the stadium.
“They did get it wrong, but for all the people blowing up, I know you’re doing it as a sign of kindness and respect, but I will blow up when it’s needed.
“I will engage with everyone when there is a real solid circumstances to blow up. When people in wheelchairs get kicked off airlines, kicked off facilities, when they’re not getting access to education, when there are issues with employment, I will fire up and grab everyone along with me.
“Right now, we have just finished the best and most inclusive Commonwealth Games that we have ever had. It has been the best two weeks of my life.
“This whole experience, the success of the para-sports program, seeing the success of our team, seeing how good we nailed this whole thing.
“Let’s just move on, reflect, and remember the Games as the absolute success that it was.”
Fearnley won the gold medal in the men's marathon T54 and silver in the men's 1500 T54 at the Games.
Listen to Kurt Fearnley’s chat with Andy Maher on SEN Afternoons in the player below