Kurt Fearnley's classy response to closing ceremony 'snub'

Kurt Fearnley has offered a typically classy response to the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony furore after TV viewers didn't get to see him carry the flag into the stadium.

Sunday's closing ceremony on the Gold Coast has been criticised as underwhelming, with presenters from the Seven Network slamming organisers for not providing vision of athletes entering Carrara Stadium.

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The decision from the Games organising committee denied television viewers the chance to watch inspirational para-sports veteran Fearnley carry the flag into the venue.

Fearnley, who won gold in the men's wheelchair marathon, received a rousing ovation as he led the Australian team into the stadium on Sunday, but fans watching at home didn't get to see it.

Fearnley and his teammates. Image: Getty

The 37-year-old would have been forgiven for being filthy with the decision to downgrade his moment, but Fearnley took to social media on Monday to address the controversy.

"Please remember that @GC2018 has been the most inclusive event that our nation has ever hosted," Fearnley tweeted, referencing the fact that the para-sports program was played out at the same time as the regular program, and medals were combined on one tally.

"We can’t let anything distract from that. We did something special on the Gold Coast & it was one of the best weeks of my life. The team, crowds, staff & volunteers nailed it."

Fearnley then backed up those comments in an interview with SEN Radio.

“It was a strange experience ... there were a lot of people blowing up on social media," he said.

"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 in 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 they are issues with employment, I will fire up and grab everyone along with me."

Organising committee chairman Peter Beattie said the decision was made to limit the time athletes, many of whom were fatigued from competition, had to wait outside the stadium.

"Having them come into the stadium in the pre-show meant the TV audience were not able to see the athletes enter the stadium, alongside flag bearers. We got that wrong," he tweeted on Monday.

"This decision to bring the athletes into the stadium before the broadcast was operationally driven given there were restrictions on being able to keep the athletes waiting in comfort.

"We were driven by the welfare of athletes."

Australian athlete reaction has been mixed, with star swimmer Cameron McEvoy unaware of the furore until the day after but Boomers basketballer Angus Brandt saying they felt "left out".

Opening ceremony flagbearer Mark Knowles admitted it was a disappointing way to mark his retirement from hockey.

"It was (disappointing). There's been a bit of talk from the athletes," he told Fox Sports.

"That part was a little bit, you know, not what the athletes would have liked.

"It's hard to fault these Commonwealth Games and I'm very, very cautious of saying anything that would put a dampener on what the athletes did.

"One little event last night, people still loved it, but I think they would have loved it even more."

Beattie did the rounds on breakfast television saying he will contact Fearnley to apologise and taking full responsibility - rejecting criticism directed at the American producers of the ceremony, Jack Morton Worldwide.

Beattie was hopeful the finale did not detract from organisers' efforts to put on a successful Games.

Seven presenter Johanna Griggs, a 1990 Commonwealth Games swimming bronze medallist, teed off at organisers after viewers initially expressed frustration with the broadcaster when athletes were left out.

"We can only show the pictures that are provided by the actual host broadcasters. They made a decision not to have athletes enter the stadium," Griggs said on Seven on Sunday.

"They made the decision not to show the flagbearers.

"I'm furious. Actually wrecking a tradition that is so important.

"You want to see the athletes come in. You want to see them jumping in front of camera. You want to see them celebrating 11 days of great sport.

"We missed out on all of that."

The ceremony has been described as lacking star power even with sprinting legend Usain Bolt hitting the DJ decks and dancing with mascot Borobi during the spectacle.

Large sections of seating were empty while a number of athletes slipped away to the bar before the ceremony had reached its halfway point.

Australia blitzed the medal tally with 80 gold, matching its haul in 1998 to make it the country's fourth most successful Commonwealth Games behind Victoria, Canada (87 gold, 1994), Melbourne (84, 2006) and Manchester (82, 2002).

with AAP