15 Amazing Facts about The Commonwealth Games
You might think the Commonwealth Games falls a little way behind the Olympics, but what would the sporting calendar be like without it? It’s a great way to bring people from all 4 corners of the world together for a festival of sport, and as you’ll see from these eye-opening facts there’s a really rich history behind it.
- The idea to host the games was first talked about as long ago as 1911.
- But it wasn’t until 19 years later that Hamilton, Canada hosted the first games in 1930.
- 11 countries and 400 athletes competed in the inaugural games.
- Australia holds the record for most times hosting the games with 5.
- Today there are 53 countries across 19 sports, with hundreds of different disciplines contested.
- The Commonwealth covers 20% of the Earth’s land mass and 32% of its population.
- Only the Olympic Games and Asian Games feature more competitors than the Commonwealth Games.
- Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales are the only countries to have been present at every games since its inception.
- The Queen’s Baton Relay is a longstanding tradition that sees the baton carried nearly 200,000 km.
- This adds up to more than 4 circumnavigations of the globe in the year building up to the games.
- A precursor to the Commonwealth Games known as the “Festival of Empire” was held in London in 1911 to mark the coronation of King George V.
- Australia is the most successful nation in games history with more than 2,000 medals, more than 800 of which are gold!
- In 2007 Marcus Stephen was elected president of Nauru. He’d previously won 7 gold medals for weightlifting.
- 1942 and 1946 are the only years in which the games has had to be cancelled.
- Scotland has hosted the games on 3 occasions, most recently in Glasgow.
Related 'Commonwealth Countries' Facts