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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Gravesend dancer Ashley Austen performs in closing ceremony of Commonwealth Games

04 August 2014
by Alex Matthews

Fireworks, singing, dancing and a performance from the queen of pop - while many were watching the drama of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony unfold on their TV sets, Ashley Austen was taking part.

Mr Austen, 46, from Gravesend, was one of the many dancers strutting their stuff in the ceremony in Glasgow.

He is no stranger to big stage having also taken part in the ceremonies at the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

However, which event came out on top, he could not compare the two.

Ashley Austen said that taking part in the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony was unforgettable.

Ashley Austen said that taking part in the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony was "unforgettable".

He said: “A lot of people have asked me that, but you really can’t compare them because they were so different.

"London 2012 was more technical and more of a drama but the commonwealth was more of a party. It was just as thrilling and exciting.

"It [the commonwealth ceremony] was an unforgettable experience and one I’ll remember for the rest of my life."

The games’ last hurrah was an explosion of colour with athletes and representatives from all corners of the commonwealth taking their place on the hallowed turf at the home of Scottish football, Hampden Park stadium.

Adam Gemili collects his 100m silver medal. Picture Clive RoseGetty Images

Adam Gemili collects his 100m silver medal. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Adding some showbiz sparkle to the culmination of the games was Australian pop starlet Kylie Minogue.

Her nation came second only to England in the overall medals table with 137 - England took home 174.

Among England's impressive medals haul were two silver contributed by Dartford sprinter, Adam Gemili. 

Kemar Bailey-Cole of Jamaica crosses the line to win gold ahead of Adam Gemili, right, in the 100m final at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Picture Ian WaltonGetty Images

Kemar Bailey-Cole of Jamaica crosses the line to win gold ahead of Adam Gemili, right, in the 100m final at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Mr Austen, of Armoury Drive, said: “When we arrived at Hampden Park the excitement was just starting to build. We got there early, before the public could get in, so we could orientate ourselves around the stadium.

"It was the first time we’d been there because we had been rehearsing for some days earlier. Getting in the stadium was fantastic and so exciting.”

Mr Austen, has been taking part in amateur dramatics for five years and said that despite the grand nature of the event, he was not nervous in the slightest.

He said: ”We were actually cast as festival goers, as they wanted a party atmosphere. All the athletes were in among us so they were joining in on the party too, but when Kylie came on the whole stadium just exploded."

When asked if he would be showcasing his dancing skills in two years time in Rio for the Olympics, he said: "I wouldn't rule it out."

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