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The Commonwealth Games, often referred to as the ''Friendly Games'', is an international
multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Egypt Sports clubs *AC Sporting, a football club from Beirut, Lebanon *Alexandria Sporting Club, a sp ...
involving athletes from the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territorial evolution of the British Empire, territories of the British Empire. The chief ins ...

Commonwealth of Nations
. The event was first held in 1930, and, with the exception of 1942 and 1946, 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. Athletes with a disability are included as full members of their national teams, making the Commonwealth Games the first fully inclusive international multi-sport event. In 2018, the Games became the first global multi-sport event to feature an equal number of men's and women's medal events. The creation of the Games was inspired by the Inter-Empire Championships, as a part of the
Festival of Empire The Festival of Empire (or Festival of the Empire) was held at The Crystal Palace The Crystal Palace was a cast iron Cast iron is a group of iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content more than 2%. Its usefulness derives from its relati ...
, which were held in London in 1911. Melville Marks Robinson founded the games as the British Empire Games which were first hosted in Hamilton, Canada 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 The Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) is 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 first version was held in Edinburgh ...
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 World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
. The Commonwealth Games are overseen by the
Commonwealth Games Federation The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), currently branded as Commonwealth Sport, is the international organisation responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-spor ...
(CGF), which also controls the sporting programme and selects the host cities. The games movement consists of
international sports federations A sports governing body is a sports organization that has a regulatory or sanctioning function. Sports governing bodies come in various forms, and have a variety of regulatory functions. Examples of this can include disciplinary action for rule in ...
(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 Relay The Queen's Baton Relay is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first ...
, 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 Olympic sports are contested in the Summer Olympic Games The Summer Olympic Games, also known as the Games of the Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over ...
, 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 Bowls, or lawn bowls, is a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some ca ...
,
netball Netball is a ball sport Ball games (or ballgames), also ball sports, are any form of game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Muse ...

netball
,
cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at a dedi ...

cricket
and
squash Squash may refer to: Sports * Squash (sport), the high-speed racquet sport also known as squash racquets * Squash (professional wrestling), an extremely one-sided match in professional wrestling * Squash tennis, a game similar to squash racquets ...
. Although there are currently 54 members of the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territorial evolution of the British Empire, territories of the British Empire. The chief ins ...

Commonwealth of Nations
, 72 teams currently participate in the Commonwealth Games, as it is a feature of the Commonwealth Games that a number of dependent territories who do not compete separately at the Olympic Games, compete in the Commonwealth Games under their own flags. The four
Home Nations Home Nations is a collective term with one of two meanings depending on context. Politically it means the nations of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly kn ...

Home Nations
of the United Kingdom (England,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

Wales
and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
) also send separate teams. For the purposes of the Commonwealth Games, 4 Home Nations, 3 Crown Dependencies and all but three of the inhabited Overseas Territories all of whom are represented by
Team GB Team GB is the brand name A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business Business is the activity of m ...

Team GB
at the Olympic Games, instead attend as 14 separate delegations. The other three Overseas Territories - British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Caymen Islands represent themselves at both events. Nineteen cities in nine countries (counting England, Scotland and Wales separately) have hosted the games. 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 Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

Auckland
(1950, 1990) and
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
(1970, 1986). Only six nations have participated in every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

Wales
. Of these six, Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand have each won at least one gold medal in every Games. Australia has been the highest achieving team for thirteen editions of the Games, England for seven, and Canada for one. These three teams also top the all-time Commonwealth Games medal table in that order. The most recent Commonwealth Games were held in
Gold Coast Gold Coast may refer to: Places Africa * Gold Coast (region), in West Africa, which was made up of the following colonies, before being established as the independent nation of Ghana: ** Portuguese Gold Coast (Portuguese, 1482–1642) ** Dutch Gol ...

Gold Coast
from 4 to 15 April 2018. The next Commonwealth Games are due to be held in
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest city, urban area and ESPON metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom, metropol ...

Birmingham
from 28 July to 8 August 2022.


History

A sporting competition bringing together the members of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
was first proposed by John Astley Cooper in 1891. He wrote a letter, published in ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily Daily or The Daily may refer to: Journalism * Daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often ty ...
'' 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 in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to promote the idea and inspired
Pierre de Coubertin Charles Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin (; born Pierre de Frédy; 1 January 1863 – 2 September 1937, also known as Pierre de Coubertin and Baron de Coubertin) was a French educator and historian, founder of the International Olympic Commi ...
to start the international
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of from around the world participate in a . The Olympic Games are c ...
movement. In 1911, the Festival of the Empire was held at
The Crystal Palace The Crystal Palace was a cast iron Cast iron is a group of iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content more than 2%. Its usefulness derives from its relatively low melting temperature. The alloy constituents affect its colour when fracture ...
in London to celebrate the
coronation of George V The coronation of the British monarch, coronation of George V and his wife Mary of Teck, Mary as King of the United Kingdom, king and Queen consort of the United Kingdom, queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom an ...
and as part of it, an Inter-Empire Championship was held. Teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom competed in athletics, boxing, wrestling and swimming events. Canada won the championships and was presented with a silver cup (gifted by Lord Lonsdale) which was high and weighed . However, the 1911 championships brought some criticism, most notably by a correspondent of the
Auckland Star The ''Auckland Star'' was an evening daily newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand, from 24 March 1870 to 16 August 1991. Survived by its Sunday edition, the ''Sunday Star'', part of its name endures in ''The Sunday Star-Times'', created in t ...
, who described them as a "grievous disappointment" that were "not worthy of the title of 'Empire Sports'". Melville Marks Robinson, who went to the
1928 Summer Olympics The 1928 Summer Olympics (Dutch: ''Olympische Zomerspelen 1928''), officially known as the Games of the IX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was celebrated from 28 July to 12 August 1928 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. T ...
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
HamiltonHamilton may refer to: * Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), first American Secretary of the Treasury and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States **Hamilton (musical), ''Hamilton'' (musical), a 2015 Broadway musical written by Lin-Manuel Mira ...
in 1930.


Editions


During the 20th century


= British Empire Games

= The 1930 British Empire Games were the first of what later become known as the Commonwealth Games, and were held in
HamiltonHamilton may refer to: * Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), first American Secretary of the Treasury and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States **Hamilton (musical), ''Hamilton'' (musical), a 2015 Broadway musical written by Lin-Manuel Mira ...
, in the province of
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
in Canada from 16–23 August 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 , with
Lord Willingdon Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon (12 September 1866 – 12 August 1941), was a British Liberal politician and administrator who served as Governor General of Canada The governor general of Canada (french: le gouverneur g ...
officially starting the Games. The participant nations were Australia,
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on the gender of the reigning monarch), is the or in most s, their territories, and the British . The author of the tune is unknown, ...

Bermuda
,
British Guyana British Guiana was a British colony, part of the mainland British West Indies, which resides on the northern coast of South America. Since 1966 it has been known as the independent nation of Guyana. The first European to encounter Guiana was S ...
, Canada, England,
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
,
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed of the island of Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland and the continental ...
, New Zealand,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
, South Africa and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

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 Gordon Smallacombe (10 February 1907 – 1957) was a Canadians, Canadian track and field athlete who competed in jumping events. A Torontonian based out of the West End YMCA, he was the gold medallist in the triple jump at the 1930 British Em ...
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 Wembley Park is a district of the London Borough of Brent The London Borough of Brent () is a London borough The London boroughs are the 32 local authority districts that make up the ceremonial county The counties and areas for ...
, although the track cycling events were in 
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
. The 1934 Games had originally been awarded to
Johannesburg Johannesburg (, also ; ; Zulu language, Zulu and xh, eGoli ), informally known as Jozi, Joburg, or "The City of Gold", is the largest city in South Africa, classified as a Megacity#List of megacities, megacity, and is List of urban areas by ...

Johannesburg
, but were given to London instead because of serious concerns about prejudice against black and Asian athletes in South Africa. The affiliation of Irish athletes at the 1934 Games representation remains unclear but there was no official
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of St ...
team. Sixteen national teams took part, including new participants
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
,
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...
,
Southern Rhodesia The Colony of Southern Rhodesia was a landlocked self-governing colony, self-governing British Crown colony in southern Africa, established in 1923 and consisting of British South Africa Company (BSAC) territories lying south of the Zambezi R ...
and
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean C ...

Trinidad and Tobago
. The  1938 British Empire Games were the third 
British Empire Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically it has sometim ...
, which were held in 
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
, 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 The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

Southern Hemisphere
for the first time, the III Games opening ceremony took place at the famed
Sydney Cricket Ground The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is a sports stadium in Sydney, Australia. It is used for Test cricket, Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, as well as Australian rules football, rugby league, rugby union, and association football. ...
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 Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...
and
Ceylon Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO; ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island ...
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 Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

Auckland
, New Zealand after a 12-year gap from the third edition of the games. The fourth games were originally awarded to 
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
, Canada and were to be held in 1942 but were cancelled due to the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
. The opening ceremony at
Eden Park Eden Park is New Zealand's largest sports stadium. Located in central Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, it is three kilometres southwest of the Auckland CBD, CBD, on the boundary between the suburbs of Mount Eden and Kingsland, New Zealand, ...

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 Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

Auckland
. Malaya and
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
made their first appearances.


= British Empire and Commonwealth Games

= The fifth edition of the Games, the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, were held in 
Vancouver Vancouver ( ) is a major city in western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western Provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth desc ...

Vancouver
, British Columbia, Canada. These were the first Games since the name change from 
British Empire Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically it has sometim ...
 took effect in 1952. The fifth edition of the Games placed
Vancouver Vancouver ( ) is a major city in western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western Provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth desc ...

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 Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister (23 March 1929 – 3 March 2018) was an English middle-distance athlete and neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "string, nerve" and the suffix -logia, "study of") is a branch of medicin ...

Roger Bannister
of England and silver medallist
John Landy John Michael Landy (born 12 April 1930) is an Australian retired middle-distance runner and state governor. He was the second man to break the four-minute mile barrier in the mile run and held the world records for the 1500-metre run and the mi ...
of Australia, run sub-four-minute races in an event that was televised live across the world for the first time.
Northern Rhodesia Northern Rhodesia was a protectorate in southern Africa, south central Africa, formed in 1911 by Amalgamation (politics), amalgamating the two earlier protectorates of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia.''Commonwealth ...
and
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

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 Cardiff (; cy, Caerdydd ) is the capital city of Wales and a Local government in Wales, county. Officially known as the City and County of Cardiff, it is the United Kingdom's eleventh-largest city and the main commercial centre of Wales. Cardi ...

Cardiff
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

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 Cardiff (; cy, Caerdydd ) is the capital city of Wales and a Local government in Wales, county. Officially known as the City and County of Cardiff, it is the United Kingdom's eleventh-largest city and the main commercial centre of Wales. Cardi ...

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 World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
. The Cardiff Games introduced the 
Queen's Baton Relay The Queen's Baton Relay is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first ...
, 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 Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
,
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...
and the
Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth The "National Anthem of the Isle of Man" ( gv, Arrane Ashoonagh Vannin) was written and composed by William Henry Gill (1839–1923), with the Manx translation by John J. Kneen (1873–1939). It is often r ...

Isle of Man
. In the run up to the Cardiff games, many leading sports stars including
Stanley Matthews Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE (1 February 1915 – 23 February 2000) was an English footballer who played as an outside right. Often regarded as one of the greatest players of the British game, he is the only player to have been knighted while st ...

Stanley Matthews
,
Jimmy Hill James William Thomas Hill, OBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during ...
and
Don Revie Donald George Revie OBE (; 10 July 1927 – 26 May 1989) was an England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The ...
were signatories in a letter to ''The Times'' on 17 July 1958 deploring the presence of white-only South African sports, opposing 'the policy of apartheid' in international sport and defending 'the principle of racial equality which is embodied in the Declaration of the Olympic Games'. The  1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in 
Perth Perth () is the list of Australian capital cities, capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is Australia's list of cities in Australia by population, fourth-most populous city, with a population of 2.1 mi ...

Perth
Western Australia Western Australia (abbreviated as WA) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Western Australia
, Australia. Thirty-five countries sent a total of 863 athletes and 178 officials to
Perth Perth () is the list of Australian capital cities, capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is Australia's list of cities in Australia by population, fourth-most populous city, with a population of 2.1 mi ...

Perth
.
Jersey Jersey ( , ; nrf, label=Jèrriais, Jèrri ), officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (french: Bailliage de Jersey, links=no; Jèrriais: ''Bailliage dé Jèrri''), is an island and self-governing Crown dependencies, Crown Dependency near the coa ...

Jersey
was among the medal winners for the first time, while
British Honduras British Honduras was a British Crown colony on the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico, from 1749 to 1964, then a self-governing colony, renamed Belize in June 1973,
,
Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago : ; french: Dominique; Dominican Creole French Dominican Creole French is a French-based creole, which is the generally spoken language in Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago language: ; french: Dominique; Do ...

Dominica
,
Papua and New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini; tcs, Op Deudai), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a count ...
and
St Lucia Saint Lucia (, ; french: Sainte-Lucie) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an indivi ...

St Lucia
all made their inaugural Games appearances.
Aden Aden ( , ; ar, عدن ' Yemeni Arabic, Yemeni: ) is a city, and since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, near the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some east of the strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately ...
also competed by special invitation.
Sarawak Sarawak (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...
,
North Borneo North Borneo (usually known as British North Borneo, also known as the State of North Borneo) was a British Protectorate, British protectorate located in the northern part of the island of Borneo. The territory of North Borneo was originally estab ...
and Malaya competed for the last time before taking part in 1966 under the Malaysian flag. In addition,
Rhodesia and Nyasaland The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (also known as the Central African Federation, CAF) was a colonial federation that consisted of three southern African territories—the Self-governing colony, self-governing British colony of Southe ...

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 Kingston is the Capital (political), capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long spit (landform), sand spit which connects the town of Port ...
. This was the first time that the Games had been held outside the so-called 
White Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, Dominion of New Zealand, New Zealand, Dominion of Newfoundland ...
s. Thirty-four nations (including Federation of South Arabia, South Arabia) competed in the Kingston, Jamaica, Kingston Games sending a total of 1,316 athletes and officials.


= British Commonwealth Games

= The 1970 British Commonwealth Games were held in 
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
. This was the first time the name British Commonwealth Games was adopted, the first time Metric system, metric units rather than imperial units were used in events, the first time the games were held in 
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

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 1972 Munich attack, massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics, 1972 Munich Olympics, the tenth games at Christchurch were the first
multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Egypt Sports clubs *AC Sporting, a football club from Beirut, Lebanon *Alexandria Sporting Club, a sp ...
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.


= Commonwealth Games

= 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 Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
in protest against New Zealand's sporting contacts with apartheid-era South Africa, as well as by Uganda in protest at 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 Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

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 Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (also known as the Central African Federation, CAF) was a colonial federation that consisted of three southern African territories—the Self-governing colony, self-governing British colony of Southe ...

Rhodesia and Nyasaland
. The 1986 Commonwealth Games were held in
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
and were the second Games to be held in
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
. Participation at the 1986 Commonwealth Games, 1986 Games was affected by a boycott by 32 African, Asian and Caribbean nations in protest at 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 Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
Games and sent a total of 1,662 athletes and 461 officials. The 1990 Commonwealth Games were held in 
Auckland Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

Auckland
, New Zealand. It was the fourteenth Commonwealth Games, the third to be hosted by New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, New Zealand and
Auckland Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

Auckland
's second. A new record of 55 nations participated in the second
Auckland Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

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, 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 1958 Commonwealth Games, 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 over Hong Kong, 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.


During the 21st century

The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in 
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

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 of Nations, 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, Australia. The only difference between the 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2006 games and the 2002 Commonwealth Games, 2002 games was the absence of Zimbabwe, which withdrew from the 
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territorial evolution of the British Empire, territories of the British Empire. The chief ins ...

Commonwealth of Nations
. For the first time in the history of the Games the Queen's Baton Relay, Queen's Baton visited every single Commonwealth nation and territory taking part in the Games, a journey of . 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 Republics in the Commonwealth of Nations, 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 The Commonwealth, Commonwealth nations and dependencies competed in 21 sports and 272 events. The final 2010 Commonwealth Games medal table, medal tally was led by Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Australia. The host nation India achieved its India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 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 A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Egypt Sports clubs *AC Sporting, a football club from Beirut, Lebanon *Alexandria Sporting Club, a sp ...
 ever held in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

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 Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
, capital city of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
. Usain Bolt competed in the Athletics at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 4×100 metres relay of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and set a List of Commonwealth Games records in athletics#Men.27s records, 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 The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), currently branded as Commonwealth Sport, is the international organisation responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-spor ...
 chief executive Mike Hooper hailing them as "the standout games in the history of the movement". The 2018 Commonwealth Games were held on the
Gold Coast Gold Coast may refer to: Places Africa * Gold Coast (region), in West Africa, which was made up of the following colonies, before being established as the independent nation of Ghana: ** Portuguese Gold Coast (Portuguese, 1482–1642) ** Dutch Gol ...

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 A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Egypt Sports clubs *AC Sporting, a football club from Beirut, Lebanon *Alexandria Sporting Club, a sp ...
 had equality in terms of events. The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest city, urban area and ESPON metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom, metropol ...

Birmingham
, England. They will be the third Commonwealth Games to be hosted in England following 1934 British Empire Games, London 1934 and 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester 2002. 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 Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
(3), England (2) and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

Wales
(1)), twice in Asia (Malaysia (1) and India (1)) and once in the Caribbean (Jamaica (1)).


Paraplegic Games

The Commonwealth Paraplegic Games were an international,
multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Egypt Sports clubs *AC Sporting, a football club from Beirut, Lebanon *Alexandria Sporting Club, a sp ...
involving athletes with a disability from the Commonwealth of Nations, 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 Poliomyelitis, 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 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, 1966, 1970 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, 1970 and 1974. Six countries – Australia, England, New Zealand,
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

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 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, 1966, 1970 Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, 1970.


Inclusion of Para-sports

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 The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), currently branded as Commonwealth Sport, is the international organisation responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-spor ...
(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 recognised the IPC as the organisation for overseeing the co-ordination and delivery of the Commonwealth Games EAD sports programme and committed both organisations to work together in supporting the growth of the Paralympic and Commonwealth Games Movements.


Winter Games

The Commonwealth Winter Games was a
multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Egypt Sports clubs *AC Sporting, a football club from Beirut, Lebanon *Alexandria Sporting Club, a sp ...
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 Olympic Games, Winter Olympics and Summer Olympic Games. The winter Games were founded by T.D. Richardson.Semanticus.info
T.D. Richardson
(accessed 7 July 2012)
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, Western Australia, Perth, Australia, and the 1966 event was held in St. Moritz as well, following which the idea was discontinued.


Youth Games

The Commonwealth Youth Games is an international
multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Egypt Sports clubs *AC Sporting, a football club from Beirut, Lebanon *Alexandria Sporting Club, a sp ...
organised by the
Commonwealth Games Federation The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), currently branded as Commonwealth Sport, is the international organisation responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-spor ...
. The Games are held every four years with the current Commonwealth Games format. The
Commonwealth Games Federation The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), currently branded as Commonwealth Sport, is the international organisation responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-spor ...
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 Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
from 10 to 14 August 2000. The age limitation of the athletes is 14 to 18.


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 The Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) is 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 first version was held in Edinburgh ...
, and is the foremost authority in matters relating to the games. The Commonwealth House in London, England 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: * List of international sport federations, International Federations (IFs) are the Sport governing body, governing bodies that supervise a sport at an international level. For example, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is the international governing body for basketball. * Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) represent and regulate the Commonwealth Games Movement within each country and perform similar functions as the National Olympic Committees. For example, the Commonwealth Games England (CGE) is the CGA of England. There are currently 72 CGAs recognised by the CGF. * Organising Committees for the Commonwealth Games (OCCWGs) are temporary committees responsible for the organisation of each Commonwealth Games. OCCWGs are dissolved after each Games once the final report is delivered to the CGF. 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.


Queen's Baton Relay

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 Cardiff (; cy, Caerdydd ) is the capital city of Wales and a Local government in Wales, county. Officially known as the City and County of Cardiff, it is the United Kingdom's eleventh-largest city and the main commercial centre of Wales. Cardi ...

Cardiff
, Wales. Up until, and including, the 1994 Commonwealth Games, 1994 Games, the Relay only went through England and the host nation. The Relay for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was the first to travel to other nations of the Commonwealth. The Queen's Baton Relay#Gold Coast 2018, 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 The Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) is 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 first version was held in Edinburgh ...
during its 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, sixth edition in 2017 which were held in Nassau, Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas.


Ceremonies


Opening

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 Relay, 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 her representative.


Closing

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 organising 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 organised 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 theatre 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 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester 2002, after the late David Dixon, former Honorary Secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation, CGF, in honour of his monumental contribution to Commonwealth sport for many years.


Medal presentation

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.


List of Commonwealth Games

Note: The 1911 Inter-Empire Championships held in London (as part of a festival to celebrate the coronation of King George V) is seen as a precursor to the modern Commonwealth Games, but is not considered the part of it. Also, the United Kingdom competed as one country, unlike the Commonwealth Games, where they compete as England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Canada topped the medal table by winning 4 events. Note The 2022 Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships was to be held as separated event in Chandigarh, India in January 2022. The number of events held and the medals won in the championships would have been counted in the final number of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The event has since been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic Note: The 1911 Festival of Empire#Inter-Empire Championships, 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 Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

Wales
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
. Canada topped the medal table by winning 4 events.


All-time medal table

Below is a Top 10 all-time medal table.


List of Commonwealth sports

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.Sports Programme
.
Commonwealth Games Federation The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), currently branded as Commonwealth Sport, is the international organisation responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-spor ...
. Retrieved 4 June 2016.


Participation

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.
----
; Notes


Commonwealth nations yet to send teams

Very few Commonwealth dependencies and nations have yet to take part: * Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, former dependencies of Saint Helena and current parts of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, have never formed their own teams independent from the Saint Helena team. * Other states, territories and Autonomous region, territorial autonomies with native populations within the Commonwealth that may be eligible include Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (States and territories of Australia, territories of Australia), Nevis (a federal entity of the Saint Kitts and Nevis, Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis), Rodrigues (outer islands of Mauritius), and Zanzibar (a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania). * Cornwall, represented by the Cornwall Commonwealth Games Association (CCGA), sent a bid for participation in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in 2004. However, their application was rejected by the CGF, who stated that the constitutional status of Cornwall was not an issue that should be resolved through this medium. * The British Indian Ocean Territory currently has no permanent population although there is a sizeable Chagossian, population who were ''born'' in the BIOT but currently live in Mauritius and the United Kingdom and so would be eligible to compete on birth criteria. * Northern Cyprus, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has made applications to the CGF to send teams. * It is also conceivable that any future members of the Commonwealth such as Commonwealth of Nations#Applicants, applicants (for example South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen) may participate in future games. The Colony of Aden and Federation of South Arabia, precursors to modern Yemen, participated before in 1962 and in 1966. Sudan was an Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian protectorate until independence in 1956. * The Pitcairn Islands' tiny population (currently 50 to 60 people) would appear to prevent this British overseas territory from competing. * Tokelau was Tokelau at the Commonwealth Games, expected to take part in the 2010 Games in Delhi but did not do so. * The lack of a permanent population would seem to prevent the British overseas territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and British Antarctic Territory, the New Zealand territory of Ross Dependency and the Australian external territories of Australian Antarctic Territory, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Coral Sea Islands and Heard Island and McDonald Islands from competing.


Controversies


Host city contract

The 1934 British Empire Games, originally awarded in 1930 to
Johannesburg Johannesburg (, also ; ; Zulu language, Zulu and xh, eGoli ), informally known as Jozi, Joburg, or "The City of Gold", is the largest city in South Africa, classified as a Megacity#List of megacities, megacity, and is List of urban areas by ...

Johannesburg
, were moved to London after South Africa's pre-apartheid government refused to allow participants of colour. The 2022 Commonwealth Games were originally awarded to Durban on 2 September 2015, at the Commonwealth Games Federation, CGF General Assembly in
Auckland Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

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 Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest city, urban area and ESPON metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom, metropol ...

Birmingham
, England. On 21 December 2017,
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest city, urban area and ESPON metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom, metropol ...

Birmingham
was awarded for the 2022 Games as Durban's replacement host.


Boycotts

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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 Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

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 Margaret Thatcher, 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, The Bahamas, Bahamas, Bangladesh,
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on the gender of the reigning monarch), is the or in most s, their territories, and the British . The author of the tune is unknown, ...

Bermuda
, Belize, Cyprus,
Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago : ; french: Dominique; Dominican Creole French Dominican Creole French is a French-based creole, which is the generally spoken language in Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago language: ; french: Dominique; Do ...

Dominica
, The Gambia, Gambia,
Ghana Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
, Guyana, Grenada, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Lucia, Mauritius,
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean C ...

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.


Budget

The estimated cost of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi were US$11 billion, according to ''Business Today (India), 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.


Notable competitors

Lawn bowler Willie Wood (bowler), Willie Wood from
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tele ...

Scotland
was the first competitor to have competed in seven Commonwealth Games, from 1974 to 2002, a record equalled in 2014 by
Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth The "National Anthem of the Isle of Man" ( gv, Arrane Ashoonagh Vannin) was written and composed by William Henry Gill (1839–1923), with the Manx translation by John J. Kneen (1873–1939). It is often r ...

Isle of Man
cyclist Andrew Roche. 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 and with a population of fewer than 9,400 in 2011) in twenty second 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 on the
Gold Coast Gold Coast may refer to: Places Africa * Gold Coast (region), in West Africa, which was made up of the following colonies, before being established as the independent nation of Ghana: ** Portuguese Gold Coast (Portuguese, 1482–1642) ** Dutch Gol ...

Gold Coast
, he won three golds, a silver and a bronze. English actor Jason Statham took part as a diver in the 1990 Commonwealth Games.


See also


References


Sources

* Brown, Geoff and Hogsbjerg, Christian. ''Apartheid is not a Game: Remembering the Stop the Seventy Tour campaign.'' London: Redwords, 2020. .


Further reading

* Phillips, Bob. ''Honour of Empire, Glory of Sport: the history of athletics at the Commonwealth Games.'' Manchester: Parrswood Press, 2000. .


External links

*
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) at the Commonwealth website

"Commonwealth Games"
''Encyclopædia Britannica'' Online. *
insidethegames – the latest and most up to date news and interviews from the world of Olympic, Commonwealth and Paralympic Games

ATR – Around the Rings – the Business Surrounding the Multi-sport events

GamesBids.com – An Authoritative Review of Games Bid Business (home of the BidIndex™)
{{Authority control Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth sports competitions, * Events in the British Empire Multi-sport events Politics and sports Quadrennial sporting events Recurring sporting events established in 1930