A Brief history of the Commonwealth Games

One of the most celebrated and coveted sporting events the Commonwealth games brings nations together since the 1890s in the spirit of colorful celebration of sport and human performance. The concept was put forward by Astley Cooper in the year 1891 in the Times newspaper to hold a Pan Britannic-Pan-Angelican contest and Festival. Initially, the contest was held after every four years to combat the most profound Olympic Games, which were first organized in 1896.

commonwealth games history
commonwealth games history

To celebrate the coronation of King George V, an Inter Empire Championship first took place in 1911 in London. Australia, South Africa, Canada, and the host country the United Kingdom were the part of the competition mainly comprised of Wrestling, Boxing, Swimming, and Athletics. The idea of the first Commonwealth Games emerged in 1928, where a journalist and member of the Canadian Olympic committee M.M. Bobby Robinson expressed his desire for several years to his counterparts from Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and South Africa to host the first-ever Games in Hamilton.

A Brief History of the Commonwealth Games

The first Commonwealth Games took place in 1930 hosted by Canada in Hamilton, where 400 athletes from 11 different countries, with 6,600 sportsmen and women from across 72 nations and territories participated in the event.

Except for the 1942 and 1946 World War II interventions, the commonwealth games have been successfully organized since its inception, where a total of 16 games have been played so far. Australia has hosted the most Commonwealth games four times (Sydney (1938), Perth (1962), Brisbane (1982), and Melbourne (2006). The 1930 and 1950 Commonwealth Games were renamed the British Empire Games and from 1966 to 1974 the games were known as British Commonwealth Games. Since 1978 the games are titled Commonwealth Games.

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It was at the 1978 Edmonton Games, for the first time world-class, multi-sport events were organized, where at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Common Wealth Games, team sports were introduced in the form of Cricket (50 over games), Netball (Women), Hockey (men and women) and Rugby 7s (men).
Basketball made its official debut in Commonwealth Games at the 2006 Melbourne games, whereas at the Delhi 2010, Tennis and Women Wrestling event took place. In 2018 Gold Coast, Beach Volleyball made its debut.

Commonwealth Youth Games was hosted for the first time in Edinburgh, which also holds a record to organize the 1970 and 1986 games. The XXth Commonwealth Games, held between 23rd July – 3rd August 2014, was hosted by Glasgow, which became the only city in Scotland to host the event thrice.

One of the interesting facts about the Commonwealth Games is, Scotland is the only nation to have competed in a multi-sport event as a nation and is the only country among six other countries to have competed in the Games since its inception at the 1930 Hamilton.

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