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Athletes arrive ahead of Commonwealth Games opening in Glasgow

Thousands of athletes and officials have now arrived in Glasgow as excitement builds ahead of tonight’s official opening ceremony at Celtic Park.

More than 1,000 athletes from 25 countries arrived for the Games at Glasgow Airport on Tuesday, including teams from Bangladesh, New Zealand, India and Singapore.

A piper has been greeting guests in true Scottish fashion, ensuring they receive a special, warm welcome before embarking on their drive to the village.

A total of around 6,500 athletes and officials are now settling into their home from home at the Athletes’ Village in Glasgow’s East End ahead of the 11 days of sporting action.

Each team has a Welcome Ceremony at the Village to mark the end of their journey to the Games which is hosted by one of Glasgow 2014’s chieftains who include rugby legend Gavin Hastings, Scotland’s most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, and Scotland’s first ever Gold Medallist for gymnastics Steve Frew.

Athletes are enjoying a last few days of relaxation and last-minute preparations in the outstanding facilities the village has to offer.

Tony Sainsbury, Glasgow 2014 head of villages, said: “There’s a terrific atmosphere in the Village now with thousands of athletes settling in and looking forward to the sporting action ahead.

“They are especially enjoying the great range of food we have on offer in the dining room and the cafes in the Village.”

All of the teams will join the 2,000 cast members in the Opening Ceremony tonight, representing the host city to 40,000 people at Celtic Park with a potential television audience of over 1.5 billion viewers who could tune in from all corners of the globe.

The Opening Ceremony is promised to be a spectacular celebration full of surprises.

It will be uniquely Glaswegian and Scottish and will welcome all the nations and territories from across the Commonwealth.