Britain "was welcoming the world back this week," according to the AP. Across 11 days, 4,500 athletes "would be competing in 17 events as the 20th Commonwealth Games was broadcast for the first time to television audiences in all 71 competing nations and territories."
How "full the venues would be on those screens remained unclear, with the insatiable appetite for Olympic tickets in London not appearing to have been matched north of the border."
The ticket website showed ''high availability'' still for many events, "including Wednesday's opening ceremony, headlined by Rod Stewart at the home of his beloved football club Celtic, and Susan Boyle, the church volunteer whose soaring voice turned her into an overnight reality TV star."
Even track and field events, which start at the weekend at the Hampden Park national football stadium, "have tickets still on sale for all but two of the 10 sessions."
Not on Aug. 1 and Aug. 2, though, when Usain Bolt "would appear for the first time." Organizers "will be hoping to recapture the high spirits of London 2012, with an array of British Olympic medalists splitting off to compete under the home nations' flags."
Perhaps offsetting Bolt's "truncated participation," English favorite Mo Farah "declared himself fit" to try to add to his 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles and "shake off the frustrations from his lackluster full London Marathon debut in April" (AP, 7/21