Cyprus provided an astonishing array of breakthroughs, and not just in the fields play.
Cyprus completely dominated the GSSE, setting a number of records that will be impossible to surpass in the future, especially once Montenegro joins the GSSE movement and the family grows from eight to nine states.
With a day to spare in the Games, Cyprus broke the record of most medals ever won by a country. The 98th medal for Cyprus in these Games came from sailing and consigned to history the record of 97 medals held by Iceland since the 1997 Games.In the process of amassing an incredible 139 medals (of which 59 gold, 47 silver and 33 bronze), Cyprus also clinched its own landmarks: Its 800th medal in the history of the Games, with shooter Marilena Constatinou's silver in the Women's Air Rifle, and it's 900th, with the Judo team's gold in the Men's Team Event.
But it was not only Cyprus that set new personal bests at these GSSE. Both Iceland and Luxembourg got their best ever results in the history of the GSSE: Although Iceland secured 81 medals and fell short of its performance of 97 from the 1997 Games in Reykjavik, this has been the Nordic nation’s best yield ever away from home. And Luxembourg’s 26 gold bettered the Grand Duchy’s previous best of 24 from the 1997 Games.
With the three strongest teams dominating the Games so thoroughly this year, little was left for the remaining five countries and all of them fell below par in their collection of gold medals—although they all did well in the totals.
Off the fields of play, the Organisers of the XIII GSSE set the bar very high, measured against past editions, but also against the III Games of 1989, when the GSSE were last held here.
And they came through with a brilliant performance--considering that the GSSE have grown out of all proportion: A total of 3,291 accreditations were issued for the six-day event, including a record-breaking 843 athletes who took part in 131 disciplines of twelve sports. Compare this to the 222 athletes of the I Games, 24 years ago.
Media coverage also tested the organisers, who had to provide for 103 foreign plus numerous local journalists--numbers never seen before at Games of the Small States of Europe. At the same time, a huge TV production came through, with live feed of more than 40 hours and two daily highlights roundups provided for free to all participating countries via satellite.
And this website, despite any unavoidable (or even avoidable) shortcomings, provided access to the Games for all the world, with visitors pouring in from 131 countries from every tiny corner of the world. Games time, the official website of the XIII GSSE had 112,896 visits (31% from inside Cyprus and 69% from abroad) and 877,888 pageviews with an average time of seven minutes on the site.
A total of more than 1300 free of rights action photos of the twelve sports and of parallel events were distributed through the website, in addition to 265 news articles in Greek and 215 in English. Video clips with the highlights of each day were available nightly online.
Supporting the whole organisational structure were 739 brilliant volunteers in a mobilisation never before seen in Cyprus.