The Commonwealth Games are an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930, and has taken place every four years since then. The Commonwealth Games were known as the British Empire Games from 1930 to 1950, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games from 1954 to 1966, and British Commonwealth Games from 1970 to 1974. It is the world's first multi-sport event which inducted equal number of women’s and men’s medal events and was implemented recently in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Their creation was inspired by the Inter-Empire Championships, as a part of the Festival of Empire, which were held in London, United Kingdom in 1911. Melville Marks Robinson founded the games as the British Empire Games which were first hosted in Hamilton in 1930. During the 20th and 21st centuries, the evolution of the games movement has resulted in several changes to the Commonwealth Games. Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Commonwealth Winter Games for snow and ice sports for the commonwealth athletes, the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games for commonwealth athletes with a disability and the Commonwealth Youth Games for commonwealth athletes aged 14 to 18. The first edition of the winter games and paraplegic games were held in 1958 and 1962 respectively, with their last edition held in 1966 and 1974 respectively and the first youth games were held in 2000. The 1942 and 1946 Commonwealth Games were cancelled because of the Second World War.
The Commonwealth Games are overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), which also controls the sporting programme and selects the host cities. The games movement consists of international sports federations (IFs), Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs), and organising committees for each specific Commonwealth Games. There are several rituals and symbols, such as the Commonwealth Games flag and Queen's Baton, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Over 5,000 athletes compete at the Commonwealth Games in more than 15 different sports and more than 250 events. The first, second, and third-place finishers in each event receive Commonwealth Games medals: gold, silver, and bronze, respectively. Apart from many Olympic sports, the games also include some sports which are played predominantly in Commonwealth countries but which are not part of the Olympic programme, such as lawn bowls, netball and squash.
Although there are currently 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 71 teams currently participate in the Commonwealth Games, as a number of dependent territories compete under their own flags. The four Home Nations of the United Kingdom—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—also send separate teams.
Nineteen cities in nine countries (counting England, Wales, and Scotland separately) have hosted the event. Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games five times (1938, 1962, 1982, 2006 and 2018); this is more times than any other nation. Two cities have hosted Commonwealth Games more than once: Auckland (1950, 1990) and Edinburgh (1970, 1986).
Only six countries have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. Australia has been the highest achieving team for twelve games, England for seven, and Canada for one.
A sporting competition bringing together the members of the British Empire was first proposed by John Astley Cooper in 1900, when he wrote an article in The Times suggesting a "Pan-Britannic-Pan-Anglican Contest and Festival every four years as a means of increasing goodwill and good understanding of the British Empire". John Astley Cooper Committees were formed worldwide (e.g. Australia) and helped Pierre de Coubertin to get his international Olympic Games off the ground. In 1911, the Festival of the Empire was held at The Crystal Palace in London to celebrate the coronation of George V. As part of the Festival of the Empire, an Inter-Empire Championships were held in which teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom competed in athletics, boxing, wrestling and swimming events.
Canada won the championships and was gifted a silver cup which was 2 feet 6 inch high and weighed 340 oz (9.6 kg). It was gifted by Lord Lonsdale. However, the 1911 championships were followed by the first world war which happened from 1914 to 1918. The organisers had lost hopes of hosting such sporting events for the empire athletes.
Melville Marks Robinson, who went to the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam to serve as the manager of the Canadian track and field team, strongly lobbied for the proposal of organising the first British Empire Games in Hamilton in 1930.
Eleven countries sent a total of 400 athletes to the Hamilton Games. The opening and closing ceremonies as well as athletics took place at Civic Stadium. The participant nations were Australia, Bermuda, British Guyana, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales. The Hamilton Games featured six sports: athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving and wrestling and ran at a cost of $97,973. Women competed in only the aquatic events. Canadian triple jumper Gordon Smallacombe won the first ever gold medal in the history of the Games.
The 1934 British Empire Games were the second of what is now known as the Commonwealth Games, held in London, England. The host city was London, with the main venue at Wembley Park, although the track cycling events were in Manchester. The 1934 Games had originally been awarded to Johannesburg, but were given to London instead because of serious concerns about prejudice against black and Asian athletes in South Africa. Seventeen national teams took part, including the Irish Free State (the only Games in which they did take part) and new participants Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Southern Rhodesia and Trinidad and Tobago.
The 1938 British Empire Games were the third British Empire Games, which were held in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. They were timed to coincide with Sydney's sesqui-centenary (150 years since the foundation of British settlement in Australia). Held in the southern hemisphere for the first time, the III Games opening ceremony took place at the famed Sydney Cricket Ground in front of 40,000 spectators. Fifteen nations participated down under at the Sydney Games involving a total of 464 athletes and 43 officials. Fiji and Ceylon made their debuts. Seven sports were featured in the Sydney Games – athletics, boxing, cycling, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving and wrestling.
The 1950 British Empire Games were the fourth edition and was held in Auckland, New Zealand after a 12-year gap from the third edition of the games. The fourth games were originally awarded to Montreal, Canada and were to be held in 1942 but were cancelled due to the Second World War. The opening ceremony at Eden Park was attended by 40,000 spectators, while nearly 250,000 people attended the Auckland Games. Twelve countries sent a total of 590 athletes to Auckland. Malaya and Nigeria made their first appearances.
The fifth edition of the games, the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. These were the first games since the name change from British Empire Games took effect in 1952. The fifth edition of the Games placed Vancouver on a world stage and featured memorable sporting moments as well as outstanding entertainment, technical innovation and cultural events. The ‘Miracle Mile’, as it became known, saw both the gold medallist, Roger Bannister of England and silver medallist John Landy of Australia, run sub-four minute races in an event that was televised live across the world for the first time. Northern Rhodesia and Pakistan made their debuts and both performed well, winning eight and six medals respectively.
The 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Cardiff, Wales. The sixth edition of the games marked the largest sporting event ever held in Wales and it was the smallest country ever to host a British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Cardiff had to wait 12 years longer than originally scheduled to become host of the Games, as the 1946 event was cancelled because of the Second World War. The Cardiff Games introduced the Queen's Baton Relay, which has been conducted as a prelude to every British Empire and Commonwealth Games ever since. Thirty-five nations sent a total of 1,122 athletes and 228 officials to the Cardiff Games and 23 countries and dependencies won medals, including for the first time, Singapore, Ghana, Kenya and the Isle of Man.
The 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Thirty-five countries sent a total of 863 athletes and 178 officials to Perth. Jersey was among the medal winners for the first time, while British Honduras, Dominica, Papua and New Guinea and St Lucia all made their inaugural Games appearances. Aden also competed by special invitation. Sarawak, North Borneo and Malaya competed for the last time before taking part in 1966 under the Malaysian flag. In addition, Rhodesia and Nyasaland competed in the Games as an entity for the first and only time.
The 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Kingston, Jamaica. This was the first time that the Games had been held outside the so-called White Dominions. Thirty-four nations (including South Arabia) competed in the Kingston Games sending a total of 1,316 athletes and officials.
The 1970 British Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was the first time the name British Commonwealth Games was adopted, the first time metric units rather than imperial units were used in events, the first time the games were held in Scotland and also the first time that HM Queen Elizabeth II attended in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth.
The 1974 British Commonwealth Games were held in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Games were officially named "the friendly games". Following the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the tenth games at Christchurch were the first multi-sport event to place the safety of participants and spectators as its uppermost requirement. Security guards surrounded the athlete’s village and there was an exceptionally high-profile police presence. Only 22 countries succeeded in winning medals from the total haul of 374 medals on offer, but first time winners included Western Samoa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
The 1978 Commonwealth Games were held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This event was the first to bear the current day name of the Commonwealth Games and also marked a new high as almost 1,500 athletes from 46 countries took part. They were boycotted by Nigeria in protest of New Zealand's sporting contacts with apartheid-era South Africa, as well as by Uganda in protest of alleged Canadian hostility towards the government of Idi Amin.
The 1982 Commonwealth Games were held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Forty-six nations participated in the Brisbane Games with a new record total of 1,583 athletes and 571 officials. As hosts, Australia headed the medal table leading the way ahead of England, Canada, Scotland and New Zealand respectively. Zimbabwe made its first appearance at the Games, having earlier competed as Southern Rhodesia and as part of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
The 1986 Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland and were the second Games to be held in Edinburgh. Participation at the 1986 Games was affected by a boycott by 32 African, Asian and Caribbean nations in protest of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's refusal to condemn sporting contacts of apartheid era South Africa in 1985, but the Games rebounded and continued to grow thereafter. Twenty-six nations did attend the second Edinburgh Games and sent a total of 1,662 athletes and 461 officials.
The 1990 Commonwealth Games were held in Auckland, New Zealand. It was the fourteenth Commonwealth Games, the third to be hosted by New Zealand and Auckland’s second. A new record of 55 nations participated in the second Auckland Games sending 2,826 athletes and officials. Pakistan returned to the Commonwealth in 1989 after withdrawing in 1972, and competed in the 1990 Games after an absence of twenty years.
The 1994 Commonwealth Games were held in Victoria, British Columbia, the fourth to take place in Canada. The games marked South Africa's return to the Commonwealth Games following the apartheid era, and over 30 years since the country last competed in the Games in 1958. Namibia made its Commonwealth Games debut. It was also Hong Kong's last appearance at the games before the transfer of sovereignty from Britain to China. Sixty-three nations sent 2,557 athletes and 914 officials.
The 1998 Commonwealth Games were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For the first time in its 68-year history, the Commonwealth Games were held in Asia. The sixteenth games were also the first Games to feature team sports - an overwhelming success that added large numbers to both participant and TV audience numbers. A new record of 70 countries sent a total of 5,065 athletes and officials to the Kuala Lumpur Games. The top five countries in the medal standing were Australia, England, Canada, Malaysia and South Africa. Nauru also achieved an impressive haul of three gold medals. Cameroon, Mozambique and Kiribati debuted.
The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in Manchester, England. The 2002 Games were hosted in England for the first time since 1934 and hosted to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth. In terms of sports and events, the 2002 Games were until the 2010 edition the largest Commonwealth Games in history featuring 281 events across 17 sports. The final medal tally was led by Australia, followed by host England and Canada. The 2002 Commonwealth Games had set a new benchmark for hosting the Commonwealth Games and for cities wishing to bid for them with a heavy emphasis on legacy.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The only difference between the 2006 games and the 2002 games was the absence of Zimbabwe, which withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations. For the first time in the history of the Games the Queen's Baton visited every single Commonwealth nation and territory taking part in the Games, a journey of 180,000 km (112,500 miles). Over 4000 athletes took part in the sporting competitions. Again the Top 3 on the medal table is Australia, followed by England and Canada.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in Delhi, India. The Games cost $11 billion and are the most expensive Commonwealth Games ever. It was the first time that the Commonwealth Games were held in India, also the first time that a Commonwealth Republic hosted the games and the second time they were held in Asia after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. A total of 6,081 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and dependencies competed in 21 sports and 272 events. The final medal tally was led by Australia. The host nation India achieved its best performance ever in any sporting event, finishing second overall. Rwanda made its Games debut.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games were held in Glasgow, Scotland. It was the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland with around 4,950 athletes from 71 different nations and territories competing in 18 different sports, outranking the 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland. Usain Bolt competed in the 4×100 metres relay of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and set a Commonwealth Games record with his teammates. The Games received acclaim for their organisation, attendance, and the public enthusiasm of the people of Scotland, with Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper hailing them as "the standout games in the history of the movement".
The 2018 Commonwealth Games were held in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, the fifth time Australia hosted the Games. There were an equal number of events for men and women, the first time in history that a major multi-sport event had equality in terms of events.
The three nations to have hosted the Commonwealth Games the most times are Australia (5), Canada (4) and New Zealand (3). Furthermore, six editions have taken place in the countries within the United Kingdom (Scotland (3), England (2) and Wales (1)), twice in Asia (Malaysia (1) and India (1)) and once in the Caribbean (Jamaica (1)).
The Commonwealth Paraplegic Games were an international, multi-sport event involving athletes with a disability from the Commonwealth countries. The event was sometimes referred to as the Paraplegic Empire Games and British Commonwealth Paraplegic Games. Athletes were generally those with spinal injuries or polio. The event was first held in 1962 and disestablished in 1974. The Games were held in the country hosting the Commonwealth Games for able-bodied athletes. The countries that had hosted the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games were Australia, Jamaica, Scotland and New Zealand in 1962, 1966, 1970 and 1974 respectively. Six countries — Australia, England, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — had been represented at all Commonwealth Paraplegic Games. Australia and England had been the top-ranking nation two times each: 1962, 1974 and 1966, 1970 respectively.
Athletes with a disability were then first included in exhibition events at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia, and, at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, they were included as full members of their national teams, making them the first fully inclusive international multi-sport games. This meant that results were included in the medal count.
During the 2007 General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) at Colombo, Sri Lanka, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and CGF signed a co-operative agreement to ensure a formal institutional relationship between the two bodies and secure the future participation of elite athletes with a disability (EAD) in future Commonwealth Games.
IPC President Philip Craven said during the General Assembly:
The co-operation agreement outlined the strong partnership between the IPC and the CGF. It recognized the IPC as the organization for overseeing the co-ordination and delivery of the Commonwealth Games EAD sports programme and committed both organizations to work together in supporting the growth of the Paralympic and Commonwealth Games Movements.
The Commonwealth Winter Games were a multi-sport event comprising winter sports, last held in 1966. Three editions of the Games have been staged. The Winter Games were designed as a counterbalance to the Commonwealth Games, which focuses on summer sports, to accompany the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympic Games. The winter Games were founded by T.D. Richardson. The 1958 Commonwealth Winter Games were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland and was the inaugural games for the winter edition. The 1962 Games were also held in St. Moritz, complementing the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia, and the 1966 event was held in St. Moritz as well, following which the idea was discontinued.
The Commonwealth Youth Games are an international multi-sport event organized by the Commonwealth Games Federation. The games are held every four years with the current Commonwealth Games format. The Commonwealth Games Federation discussed the idea of a Millennium Commonwealth Youth Games in 1997. In 1998 the concept was agreed on for the purpose of providing a Commonwealth multi-sport event for young people born in the calendar year 1986 or later. The first version was held in Edinburgh, Scotland from 10 to 14 August 2000. The age limitation of the athletes is 14 to 18.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is the international organisation responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games, and is the foremost authority in matters relating to the games. The Commonwealth House in London, United Kingdom hosts the headquarters of CGF. The Commonwealth House also hosts the headquarters of the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
The Commonwealth Games Movement is made of three major elements:
English is the official language of the Commonwealth. The other language used at each Commonwealth Games is the language of the host country (or languages, if a country has more than one official language apart from English). Every proclamation (such as the announcement of each country during the parade of nations in the opening ceremony) is spoken in these two (or more) languages, or the main depending on whether the host country is an English speaking country.
The Queen's Baton Relay, is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games. The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II. The Relay traditionally begins at Buckingham Palace in London as a part of the city's Commonwealth Day festivities. The Queen entrusts the baton to the first relay runner. At the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner hands the baton back to the Queen or her representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games. The Queen's Baton Relay is similar to the Olympic Torch Relay.
The Relay was introduced at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. Up until, and including, the 1994 Games, the Relay only went through England and the host nation. The Relay for the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was the first to travel to other nations of the Commonwealth. The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay was the longest in Commonwealth Games history. Covering 230,000 km over 388 days, the Baton made its way through the six Commonwealth regions of Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania. For the first time, the Queen's Baton was presented at the Commonwealth Youth Games during its sixth edition in 2017 which were held in Nassau, Bahamas.
Various elements frame the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. This ceremony takes place before the events have occurred. The ceremony typically starts with the hoisting of the host country's flag and a performance of its national anthem. The flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation, flag of the last hosting nation and the next hosting nation are also hosted during the opening ceremony. The host nation then presents artistic displays of music, singing, dance and theatre representative of its culture. The artistic presentations have grown in scale and complexity as successive hosts attempt to provide a ceremony that outlasts its predecessor's in terms of memorability. The opening ceremony of the Delhi Games reportedly cost $70 million, with much of the cost incurred in the artistic segment.
After the artistic portion of the ceremony, the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by nation. The last hosting nation is traditionally the first nation to enter. Nations then enter the stadium alphabetical or continental wise with the host country's athletes being the last to enter. Speeches are given, formally opening the Games. Finally, the Queen's Baton is brought into the stadium and passed on until it reaches the final baton carrier, often a successful Commonwealth athlete from the host nation, who hands it over to the Head of the Commonwealth or their representative.
The closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded. Flag-bearers from each participating country enter the stadium, followed by the athletes who enter together, without any national distinction. The president of the organizing committee and the CGF president make their closing speeches and the Games are officially closed. The CGF president also speaks about the conduct of the games. The mayor of the city that organized the Games transfers the CGF flag to the president of the CGF, who then passes it on to the mayor of the city hosting the next Commonwealth Games. The next host nation then also briefly introduces itself with artistic displays of dance and theater representative of its culture. Many great artists and singers had performed at the ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games.
At the closing ceremony of every Commonwealth Games the CGF President makes an award and presents a trophy to one athlete who has competed with particular distinction and honour both in terms of athletic performance and overall contribution to his or her team. Athletes are nominated by their Commonwealth Games Association at the end of the final day of competition and the winner is selected by a panel comprising the CGF President and representatives from each of the six Commonwealth Regions. The ‘David Dixon Award’ as it is called was introduced in Manchester 2002, after the late David Dixon, former Honorary Secretary of the CGF, in honour of his monumental contribution to Commonwealth sport for many years.
A medal ceremony is held after each event is concluded. The winner, second and third-place competitors or teams stand on top of a three-tiered rostrum to be awarded their respective medals. After the medals are given out by a CGF member, the national flags of the three medallists are raised while the national anthem of the gold medallist's country plays. Volunteering citizens of the host country also act as hosts during the medal ceremonies, as they aid the officials who present the medals and act as flag-bearers.
|Edition||Year||Host City & Host Nation||Opened by||Start Date||End Date||Sports||Events||Nations||Competitors||Top Nation||Ref|
|–||1911||London, United Kingdom||George V||12 May||1 June||4||9||4||Unknown||Canada|
|British Empire Games|
|I||1930||Hamilton, Canada||Viscount Willingdon||16 August||23 August||6||59||11||400||England|||
|II||1934||London, England||–||4 August||11 August||6||68||16||500||England|||
|III||1938||Sydney, Australia||Lord Wakehurst||5 February||12 February||7||71||15||464||Australia|||
|–||1942||Montreal, Canada||Cancelled due to the Second World War|
|IV||1950||Auckland, New Zealand||Sir Bernard Freyberg||4 February||11 February||9||88||12||590||Australia|||
|British Empire and Commonwealth Games|
|V||1954||Vancouver, Canada||Earl Alexander of Tunis||30 July||7 August||9||91||24||662||England|||
|VI||1958||Cardiff, Wales||Philip, Duke of Edinburgh||18 July||26 July||9||94||36||1122||England|||
|VII||1962||Perth, Australia||22 November||1 December||9||104||35||863||Australia|||
|VIII||1966||Kingston, Jamaica||4 August||13 August||9||110||34||1050||England|||
|British Commonwealth Games|
|IX||1970||Edinburgh, Scotland||Philip, Duke of Edinburgh||16 July||25 July||9||121||42||1383||Australia|||
|X||1974||Christchurch, New Zealand||24 January||2 February||9||121||38||1276||Australia|||
|XI||1978||Edmonton, Canada||Elizabeth II||3 August||12 August||10||128||46||1474||Canada|||
|XII||1982||Brisbane, Australia||Philip, Duke of Edinburgh||30 September||9 October||10||142||46||1583||Australia|||
|XIII||1986||Edinburgh, Scotland||Elizabeth II||24 July||2 August||10||163||26||1662||England|||
|XIV||1990||Auckland, New Zealand||Prince Edward||24 January||3 February||10||204||55||2073||Australia|||
|XV||1994||Victoria, Canada||Elizabeth II||18 August||28 August||10||217||63||2557||Australia|||
|XVI||1998||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Tuanku Jaafar||11 September||21 September||15||213||70||3633||Australia|||
|XVII||2002||Manchester, England||Elizabeth II||25 July||4 August||17||281||72||3679||Australia|||
|XVIII||2006||Melbourne, Australia||15 March||26 March||16||245||71||4049||Australia|||
|XIX||2010||Delhi, India||Pratibha Patil||3 October||14 October||17||272||71||4352||Australia|||
|XX||2014||Glasgow, Scotland||Elizabeth II||23 July||3 August||17||261||71||4947||England|||
|XXI||2018||Gold Coast, Australia||Charles, Prince of Wales||4 April||15 April||19||275||71||4426||Australia|||
|XXII||2022||Birmingham, England||TBA||27 July||7 August||18|
|XXIII||2026||Election in 2019||TBA|
Note: The 1911 Inter-Empire Championships held in London is seen as a precursor to the modern Commonwealth Games, but is not normally considered an official edition of the Games themselves. Also, the United Kingdom competed as one country, unlike the Commonwealth Games today when they compete as England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Canada topped the medal table by winning 4 events.
Below is a Top 10 all-time medal table.
|5||New Zealand (NZL)||158||219||277||654|
|6||South Africa (RSA)||130||123||136||389|
|Totals (10 nations)||2940||2902||3049||8891|
There are a total of 22 sports (with three multi-disciplinary sports) and a further seven para-sports which are approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation. Core sports must be included on each programme. A number of optional sports may be picked by the host nation, which may include some team sports such as basketball.
In 2015, the Commonwealth Games Federation agreed large changes to the programme which increased the number of core sports, whilst removing a number of optionals, those removed are listed below.
Recognised sports are sports which have been approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation but which are deemed to need expansion; host nations may not pick these sports for their programme until the Federation's requirements are fulfilled.
Only six teams have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. Australia has been the highest scoring team for thirteen games, England for seven and Canada for one.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games were originally awarded to Durban on 2 September 2015, at the CGF General Assembly in Auckland. It was reported in February 2017 that Durban may be unable to host the games due to financial constraints. On 13 March 2017, the CGF stripped Durban of their rights to host and reopened the bidding process for the 2022 games. Many cities from Australia, Canada, England and Malaysia expressed interest to host the games. However, the CGF received only one official bid and that was from Birmingham, England. On 21 December 2017, Birmingham was awarded for the 2022 Games as Durban's replacement host.
Nigeria boycotted the 1978 Commonwealth Games at Edmonton in protest of New Zealand's sporting contacts with apartheid-era South Africa. Uganda also stayed away, in protest of alleged Canadian hostility towards the government of Idi Amin.
During the 1986 Commonwealth Games at Edinburgh, a majority of the Commonwealth nations staged a boycott, so that the Games appeared to be a whites-only event. Thirty two of the eligible fifty nine countries—largely African, Asian and Caribbean states—stayed away because of the Thatcher government's policy of keeping Britain's sporting links with apartheid South Africa in preference to participating in the general sporting boycott of that country. Consequently, Edinburgh 1986 witnessed the lowest number of athletes since Auckland 1950. The boycotting nations were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Belize, Cyprus, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Grenada, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Bermuda was a particularly late withdrawal, as its athletes appeared in the opening ceremony and in the opening day of competition before the Bermuda Olympic Association decided to formally withdraw.
The estimated cost of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi were US$11 billion, according to Business Today magazine. The initial total budget estimated by the Indian Olympic Association in 2003 was US$250 million. In 2010, however, the official total budget soon escalated to an estimated US$1.8 billion, a figure which excluded non-sports-related infrastructure development. The 2010 Commonwealth Games are reportedly the most expensive Commonwealth Games ever.
They have both been surpassed by David Calvert of Northern Ireland who in 2018 attended his 11th games.
Greg Yelavich, a sports shooter from New Zealand, has won 12 medals in seven games from 1986 to 2010.
Lawn Bowler Robert Weale has represented Wales in 8 Commonwealth Games, 1986–2014, winning 2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.
Nauruan weightlifter Marcus Stephen won twelve medals at the Games between 1990 and 2002, of which seven gold, and was elected President of Nauru in 2007. His performance has helped place Nauru (the smallest independent state in the Commonwealth, at 21 km2 and with a population of fewer than 9,400 in 2011) in nineteenth place on the all-time Commonwealth Games medal table.
Ian Thorpe, Australian swimmer (now retired), has won 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals and 1 silver medal. At the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, he won 4 gold medals. At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, he won 6 gold medals and 1 silver medal.
Chad le Clos, South Africa’s most decorated swimmer, has won 17 medals from just three Commonwealth Games (2010, 2014 & 2018), seven of which are gold. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, he won three golds, a silver and a bronze.
The 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games (Welsh: Gemau Ymerodraeth Prydain a'r Gymanwlad 1958) were held in Cardiff, Wales, from 18–26 July 1958.
Thirty-five nations sent a total of 1,130 athletes and 228 officials to the Cardiff Games and 23 countries and dependencies won medals, including, for the first time, Singapore, Ghana, Kenya and the Isle of Man.
The Cardiff Games introduced the Queen's Baton Relay, which has been conducted as a prelude to every British Empire and Commonwealth Games ever since.1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games
The 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Perth, Western Australia, from 22 November to 1 December 1962. Athletic events were held at Perry Lakes Stadium in the suburb of Floreat and swimming events at Beatty Park in North Perth. They were held after the 1962 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games for wheelchair athletes.1970 British Commonwealth Games
The 1970 British Commonwealth Games (Scottish Gaelic: Geamannan a 'Cho-fhlaitheis Bhreatainn 1970) were held in Edinburgh, Scotland, from 16 July to 25 July 1970.
This was the first time the name British Commonwealth Games was adopted, the first time metric units rather than imperial units were used in all events, and also the first time the games were held in Scotland.
Also, these games saw the first unique Games trademark logo: an emblem showing the Games emblem intertwined with a St Andrews Cross and a thistle. They were followed by the 1970 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games for wheelchair athletes.1974 British Commonwealth Games
The 1974 British Commonwealth Games were held in Christchurch, New Zealand from 24 January to 2 February 1974. The bid vote was held in Edinburgh at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. The Games were officially named "the friendly games". There were 1,276 competitors and 372 officials, according to the official history, and public attendance was excellent. The main venue was the QEII Park, purpose built for this event. The Athletics Stadium and fully covered Olympic standard pool, diving tank, and practice pools were all on the one site. The theme song was "Join Together", sung by Steve Allen. The Games were held after the 1974 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in Dunedin for wheelchair athletes.1978 Commonwealth Games
The 1978 Commonwealth Games were held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from 3 to 12 August 1978, two years after the 1976 Summer Olympics were held in Montreal, Quebec. They were boycotted by Nigeria, in protest of New Zealand's sporting contacts with apartheid-era South Africa, as well as by Uganda, in protest of alleged Canadian hostility towards the government of Idi Amin. The Bid Election was held at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
This was the first Commonwealth Games where a computerised system was used to handle ticket sales.
These were the first Commonwealth Games to be named Commonwealth Games, having dropped British.1982 Commonwealth Games
The 1982 Commonwealth Games were held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia from 30 September to 9 October 1982. The Opening Ceremony was held at the QEII Stadium (named for Elizabeth II), in the Brisbane suburb of Nathan. The QEII Stadium was also the venue which was used for the athletics and archery competitions during the Games. Other events were held at the purpose-built Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler.
The Chairman of the 1982 Commonwealth Games was Sir Edward Williams.The 1982 Commonwealth Games Logo was designed by Paulo Ferreira, who was the winner of a nationwide competition held in 1978. The symbol is derived from the form of a bounding kangaroo. The three bands, forming stylized A's (for Australia), are in colours which are common to flags of many Commonwealth countries.
Matilda the kangaroo mascot for the 1982 Commonwealth Games was represented by a cartoon kangaroo, and a gigantic 13-metre (42 feet 8 inches) high mechanical "winking" kangaroo, who travelled around the stadium and winked at the crowd.
The games were officially opened by The Duke of Edinburgh and closed by The Queen.1986 Commonwealth Games
The 1986 Commonwealth Games (Scottish Gaelic: Geamannan a 'Cho-fhlaitheis 1986) were held in Edinburgh, Scotland, between 24 July and 2 August 1986. They were the second Games to be held in Edinburgh.1994 Commonwealth Games
The 1994 Commonwealth Games were held in Victoria, in the province of British Columbia in Canada, from 18 to 28 August 1994.
The XV Commonwealth Games (French: XVéme Jeux du Commonwealth) marked South Africa's return to the Commonwealth Games following the apartheid era, and over 30 years since the country last competed in the Games in 1958. Namibia participated in its first Games after gaining independence from South Africa in 1990, and the Caribbean island of Montserrat also made their Games debut. It was also Hong Kong's last appearance at the Games before the transfer of sovereignty from Britain to China.
The official mascot of the Games was an anthropomorphic killer whale named "Klee Wyck". "Klee Wyck", meaning "the laughing one", was a nickname given to Canadian painter and sculptor Emily Carr by the Ucluelet First Nation.Ten types of sports were featured at the Victoria Games: athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, lawn bowls, shooting, weightlifting, and wrestling.1998 Commonwealth Games
The 1998 Commonwealth Games (Malay: Sukan Komanwel 1998), officially known as the XVI Commonwealth Games (Malay: Sukan Komanwel ke-16), was a multi-sport event held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This edition is marked by several unprecedented facts in the history of the event. The 1998 games were the first held in an Asian country and the last Commonwealth Games of the 20th century. This was also the first time the games took place in a nation with a head of state other than the Head of the Commonwealth, and the first time the games were held in a country whose majority of the population did not have English as the first language. For the first time ever, the games included team sports. The other bid from the 1998 games came from Adelaide in Australia. Malaysia was the eighth nation to host the Commonwealth Games after Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Jamaica and Scotland. Around 3638 athletes from 69 Commonwealth member nations participated at the games which featured 214 events in 15 sports with 34 of them collected medals.2002 Commonwealth Games
The 2002 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XVII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Manchester 2002 were held in Manchester, England, from 25 July to 4 August 2002. The 2002 Games were to be hosted in the United Kingdom to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, and Manchester was selected for the 2002 Games ahead of London. The XVII Commonwealth Games was, prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics, the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the UK, eclipsing the London 1948 Summer Olympics in numbers of teams and athletes participating. In terms of sports and events, the 2002 Games were the largest Commonwealth Games in history featuring 281 events across 17 sports.
The Games were considered a success for the host city, providing an event to display how Manchester had changed following the 1996 bombing. The Games formed the catalyst for the widespread regeneration and heavy development of Manchester, and bolstered its reputation as a European and global city internationally. Rapid economic development and continued urban regeneration of the now post-industrial Manchester continued after the Games which helped cement its place as one of the principal cultural cities in the United Kingdom.The opening and closing ceremonies, the athletic and the rugby sevens events were held at the City of Manchester Stadium, which was purpose built for the Games. Unusually for a large multi-sport event—the second-largest competition by number of countries and athletes participating—the shooting events were held in the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, some 200 miles (322 km) from the main focus of the Games in Manchester. Seventy-two nations competed in 14 individual sports and 3 team sports events.
Sporting legacy includes the British Cycling team who inherited the Manchester Velodrome and went on to win eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics and another eight gold medals at the 2012 Olympics, partly attributed to the availability of the velodrome. Manchester City F.C. inherited the City of Manchester Stadium, and as a result, have since found themselves in a desirable investment opportunity in age of foreign football investment. The club was taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group led by Sheikh Mansour in 2008, without the stadium, a takeover would have been far less certain. The Games were a formative moment for Manchester and Britain with then-IOC president Jacques Rogge viewing the games as an important litmus test as to whether Britain could host the Summer Olympics. The success of the Games quickly encouraged and inspired the future London bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics with London going on to win the bid on 6 July 2005 and the games were successfully staged seven years later.2006 Commonwealth Games
The 2006 Commonwealth Games, officially the XVIII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Melbourne 2006, were an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that were held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 15 and 26 March 2006. It was the fourth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games. It was also the largest sporting event to be staged in Melbourne, eclipsing the 1956 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events being held.
More than 4,000 athletes from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations took part in the event. Zimbabwe withdrew its membership from the Commonwealth of Nations and Commonwealth Games Federation on 8 December 2003 and so did not participate in the event. With 245 sets of medals, the games featured 17 Commonwealth sports. These sporting events took place at 13 venues in the host city, two venues in Bendigo and one venue each in Ballarat, Geelong, Lysterfield Park and Traralgon.The site for the opening and closing ceremonies was the Melbourne Cricket Ground which was also used during 1956 Summer Olympics. The mascot for the games was Karak, a red-tailed black cockatoo (a threatened species). The official song of the games, "Together We Are One", was composed by the ARIA awardee Australian recording artist Delta Goodrem. During the closing ceremony of the games, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Mike Fennell declared to the crowd "Melbourne, you are simply the best".For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth Games, the Queen's Baton visited every single Commonwealth nation and territory taking part in the Games, a journey of 180,000 km (112,500 miles). The relay ended when the Governor of Victoria, and former Commonwealth Games medallist, John Landy delivered the baton to Her Majesty the Queen at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the opening ceremony.The host nation Australia topped the medal table for the fifth time in the past five Commonwealth Games, winning the most golds (84) and most medals overall (221). England and Canada finished second and third respectively.2010 Commonwealth Games
The 2010 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XIX Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Delhi 2010, was an international multi-sport event that was held in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. A total of 6081 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and dependencies competed in 21 sports and 272 events, making it the largest Commonwealth Games to date. It was also the largest international multi-sport event to be staged in Delhi and India, eclipsing the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982. The opening and closing ceremonies were held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main stadium of the event.
It was the first time that the Commonwealth Games were held in India and the second time they were held in Asia after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. It was also the first time a Commonwealth Republic hosted the games, second in a country not presently headed by British monarch since Malaysia in 1998. The official mascot of the Games was Shera and the official song of the Games, "Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto", was composed by Academy and Grammy awardee Indian recording artist A.R. Rahman.
Preparation for the Games received widespread international media attention, with criticism being levelled against the organisers for the slow pace of work, as well as issues related to security and hygiene. However, all member nations of the Commonwealth of Nations participated in the event, except Fiji, which is suspended from the Commonwealth, and Tokelau, which didn't send a team, in spite of threats of boycotts and athlete withdrawals.
The internationally acclaimed opening ceremony improved the image of the Games, and dispelled negative notions surrounding them, with many observers remarking that they began on an apprehensive note, but were an exceptional experience with a largely positive ending. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, said that India had made a good foundation for a future Olympics bid, which was reiterated by the Australian Minister of Sports. Commonwealth games Federation chief Mike Fennell stated that "Delhi delivered a fantastic Games". Some observers accused sections of the media of bias, unfair expectations, and negative reporting.The final medal tally was led by Australia with 78 golds and 177 most medals overall. The host nation India achieved its best performance ever at the Commonwealth Games, finishing second overall by winning 38 gold medals. England finished third with 37 gold medals.2014 Commonwealth Games
The 2014 Commonwealth Games (Scottish Gaelic: Geamannan a' Cho-fhlaitheis 2014), officially known as the XX Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Glasgow 2014, (Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu 2014), was an international multi-sport event celebrated in the tradition of the Commonwealth Games as governed by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). It took place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 23 July to 3 August 2014.
Glasgow was selected as the host city on 9 November 2007 during CGF General Assembly in Colombo, Sri Lanka, defeating Abuja, Nigeria. It was the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland with around 4,950 athletes from 71 different nations and territories competing in 18 different sports, outranking the 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Over the last 10 years, however, Glasgow and Scotland had staged World, Commonwealth, European, or British events in all sports proposed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, including the World Badminton Championships in 1997.The Games received acclaim for their organisation, attendance, and the public enthusiasm of the people of Scotland, with CGF chief executive Mike Hooper hailing them as "the standout games in the history of the movement". Held in Scotland for the third time, the Games were notable for the successes of the Home Nations of the United Kingdom, with England, Wales and hosts Scotland achieving their largest ever gold medal hauls and overall medal hauls at a Commonwealth Games. England finished top of the medal table for the first time since the 1986 Commonwealth Games, also held in Scotland. Kiribati also won its first ever medal at a Commonwealth Games, a gold in the 105 kg men's weightlifting competition.2018 Commonwealth Games
The 2018 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Gold Coast 2018, were an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that were held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, between 4 and 15 April 2018. It was the fifth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games and the first time a major multi-sport event achieved gender equality by having an equal number of events for males and female athletes.More than 4,400 athletes including 300 para-athletes from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations took part in the event. The Gambia which withdrew its membership from the Commonwealth of Nations and Commonwealth Games Federation in 2013, was readmitted on 31 March 2018 and participated in the event . With 275 sets of medals, the games featured 19 Commonwealth sports, including beach volleyball, para triathlon and women's rugby sevens. These sporting events took place at 14 venues in the host city, two venues in Brisbane and one venue each in Cairns and Townsville.These were the first Commonwealth Games to take place under the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) presidency of Louise Martin, CBE. The host city Gold Coast was announced at the CGF General Assembly in Basseterre, Saint Kitts, on 11 November 2011. Gold Coast became the seventh Oceanian city and the first regional city to host the Commonwealth Games. These were the eighth games to be held in Oceania and the Southern Hemisphere.
The host nation Australia topped the medal table for the fourth time in the past five Commonwealth Games, winning the most golds (80) and most medals overall (198). England and India finished second and third respectively. Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, British Virgin Islands and Dominica each won their first Commonwealth Games medals.Commonwealth Games Federation
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is the international organisation responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games, and is the foremost authority in matters relating to the games. The headquarters of CGF are located in London, England.Jason Statham
Jason Statham (; born 26 July 1967) is an English actor and film producer. Typecast as the antihero, he is known for his action-thriller roles and portraying tough, irredeemable, and machiavellian characters. Throughout his film career, Statham has regularly performed his own stage combat and stunts.
Born in Derbyshire, England, he began practicing kung fu, kickboxing and karate recreationally in his youth while working at local market stalls. An avid footballer and diver, he was selected by Britain's national diving team to compete in the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Shortly after, he was asked to model for French Connection, Tommy Hilfiger, and Levis in various advertising campaigns. Statham's past professional history working in market stalls inspired his casting in the Guy Ritchie crime films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000).
The commercial success of these films led him to star as Frank Martin in The Transporter trilogy (2002–08). After starring in a variety of heist and action thriller films such as The Italian Job (2003), Crank (2006), War (2007), The Bank Job (2008), The Mechanic (2011), Spy (2015), and Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), he established himself as a leading actor in Hollywood. He would find further commercial success in the action series The Expendables (2010–14) and the Fast and the Furious franchise. His character in the latter, Deckard Shaw, would be featured in Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), and will reprise in a spin-off, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019).
His career as an actor and producer has been criticized for lacking depth and variety, however he has also been praised for leading the 2000s and 2010s action movie resurgences. According to a BBC News report, his film career from 2002 to 2017 generated an estimated US$1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) in ticket-sales, making him one of the movie industry's most bankable stars.P. V. Sindhu
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (born 5 July 1995) is an Indian professional badminton player. She became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal, and one of the two Indian badminton players to ever win an Olympic medal – the other being Saina Nehwal. Sindhu won silver in Women's singles at Commonwealth Games 2018 . She was also a silver medalist at the 2017 BWF World Championships and 2018 BWF World Championships consecutively. She was also a silver medalist in Asian Games 2018, which were held in Indonesia.
Sindhu came to international attention when she broke into the top 20 of the BWF World Ranking in September 2012 at the age of 17. In 2013, she became the first ever Indian women's singles player to win a medal at the Badminton World Championships. In March 2015, she is the recipient of India's fourth highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri. Her silver medal win in the women's singles event of the 2016 Summer Olympics made her the first Indian shuttler to reach the final of an Olympics badminton event and the youngest Indian to make a podium finish in an individual event at the Olympics.
She is among the top five shuttlers in women's singles category. In 2018, she became the first Indian to have clinched the World Tour title defeating Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in the 2018 World Tour final.Rugby sevens at the Commonwealth Games
Rugby sevens at the Commonwealth Games has been played every tournament since its first appearance at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Rugby sevens was an optional sport that was included for 2002 and 2006; it was then made a 'Core' sport by the Commonwealth Games Federation, necessitating its appearance at all future games from the 2010 Games onward. New Zealand dominated the men's tournament at its inception until 2014 when they lost for the first time at the Games, playing South Africa in the gold medal match.
Up until the 2014 Games, rugby sevens was a male-only sport at the Commonwealth Games, but a female tournament was added to the programme for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal (pronunciation , born 17 March 1990) is an Indian professional badminton singles player. A former world no. 1, she has won over 24 international titles, which include eleven Superseries titles. Although she reached the world's 2nd in the 2009, it was only in 2015 that she was able to attain the world no. 1 ranking, thereby becoming the only female player from India and overall the second Indian player – after Prakash Padukone – to achieve this feat. She has represented India three times in the Olympics, winning a bronze medal in her second appearance.Nehwal has achieved several milestones in badminton for India. She is the only Indian to have won at least one medal in every BWF major individual event, namely the Olympics, the BWF World Championships, and the BWF World Junior Championships. She is the first Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal, along with being the only Indian to have won the BWF World Junior Championships or to have reached to the final of the BWF World Championships. In 2006, Nehwal became the first Indian female and the youngest Asian to win a 4-star tournament. She also has the distinction of being the first Indian to win a Super Series title. In the 2014 Uber Cup, she captained the Indian team and remained undefeated, helping India to win bronze medal. It was India's first medal in any BWF major team event. Nehwal became the first Indian to win two singles gold medals (2010 and 2018) in Commonwealth Games.
Considered one of the most successful Indian sportspersons, she is credited for increasing the popularity of badminton in India. In 2016, the Government of India (GoI) conferred the Padma Bhushan – India's third highest civilian award – on her. Previously, the nation's top two sporting honours, namely the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award, were also conferred on her by the Government of India. Nehwal is a philanthropist and was ranked 18th on the list of most charitable athletes.
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Participated Withdrew for political reason Not eligible to participate To be determined
Commonwealth of Nations topics
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Associations at the Commonwealth Games