The Commonwealth Games 2014 is all set to begin and brighten the global sports arena once again as the 20th edition of the event commences in Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday. The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport mega event which sees participants from all the members of Commonwealth of Nations. The multi-lateral sport event takes places every at the gap of every four years. The Commonwealth Games 2014 will begin on 23rd July and will continue till 3rd August. The sporting activities and the programmes of Commonwealth Games are controlled by Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). As the mega even begins in Glasgow, we look at some amazing facts of the third largest sporting event in the world:
1. The first Commonwealth Games were held in the year 1930 at Hamilton, Canada. The first edition saw 400 athletes from 11 countries participating in 6 sports and 59 events.
2. The Commonwealth Games have taken place every four years, but the multi-nation sports event wasn’t held during 1942 and 1946 because of the World War II.
3. The newly-termed Commonwealth Games was associated with a different name. 1930-1950, the event was called as British Empire Games. It changed to British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954. It was called as British Commonwealth Games in the 1970 games.
4. Not many know that the event’s name was transformed to “Commonwealth Games” only from 1978 in Edmonton, and since then there has been no change.
5. The 1986 Commonwealth Games witnessed a setback when 32 Afro-Caribbean nations boycotted the sports meet as then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had refused to condemn the sporting contacts of Aparthied era of South Africa in 1985.
6. It is a little known fact that the Commonwealth Games were a single-competition sport event extravaganza till the 1994 Games held in Victoria. It was in 1998 Games held in Kuala Lumpur, when the introduction of team sports like Cricket, Hockey, Netball and Rugby were introduced.
7. The 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester for the first time introduced a number of full time medal events for Elite Athletes with a Disability (EAD), in any multi sport event in the world. The tradition continued in the next 2006 Melbourne Games.
8. Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales are the only six countries to have attended every edition of the Commonwealth Games. The Australian team has topped the charts for 12 editions, England for six, and Canada for one.
9. Australia also tops the list of hosting the Commonwealth Games for the maximum five times. Canada and New Zealand have hosted the event four and three times respectively.
10. Willie Wood, lawn bowler from Scotland, is the first competitor to have competed in seven Commonwealth Games, from 1974 to 2002. The unique record was equalled by Andrew Roche, cyclist from Isle of Man; and Greg Yelavich, shooter from New Zealand, from 1986 to 2010.
11. David Dixon Award is a little-known award given to an outstanding athlete from each Commonwealth Games based on their athletic performance and overall contribution to its team. The David Dixon Award was introduced in 2002 Games in Manchester in the honour of David Dixon, former honorary secretary of Commonwealth Games Federation.
12. Often termed as ‘Friendly Games’, the Commonwealth Games is the third largest multi-nation sports event after Olympics and Asian Games.