The Commonwealth Games are a sporting event where athletes from all the commonwealth countries compete at a high and international level. The Games match The Olympics in terms of sporting standards, level of competition and structure of the event. They are held every four years in a commonwealth city, which won the bid to host the games. This year, for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, they’re being hosted by Birmingham in England.
Similar to The Olympics, a baton travels around the world to the countries from which competing athletes come from and this arrives at the central athletics stadium during the opening ceremony. This ceremony is an occasion where creative directors and thousands of volunteers put on an unforgettable performance in front of the crowd before the athletes parade their flags around the stadium. Officials tend to give speeches and the commonwealth flag is raised to signify the start of the games. After weeks of intensive competition, they finally come to a close with the closing ceremony and handing over to the next host city.
Although the sports aren’t identical to the Olympics, there are many similarities including swimming, cycling and gymnastics to name a few. One of the highlights of these games is the integration of parasport competitions.
The Commonwealth of Nations is a group of 54 independent countries, most formerly under British rule, who have special trade links and all recognise the Queen as the Head of the Commonwealth. Some of the most well-known commonwealth countries include India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa alongside the UK.
The very first Commonwealth Games took place in 1930 and have run successively every four years with the exceptions of 1942 and 1946 due to the war effort in Europe. They bring together the countries and athletes of the commonwealth and often provide huge economic benefits and sporting opportunities to host cities.
If you’re around a host city of the Commonwealth Games and have a sporting interest, definitely give them a go.