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Melbourne
2006 – 18th Commonwealth Games – Overview

    

March
15,
2006: by Team Kneipp (kah-nipe)      

[See also: Preview
for the Commonwealth Games
]

saudi intl
Matilda, the 1982 Commonwealth Games
Kangaroo.

Growing
up in Australia the Commonwealth Games was (and remains) a huge deal.
I still have a bizarre memory of a thirteen metre high kangaroo winking
at me as it made its way around Brisbane’s athletic track.
That was in 1982 and by today’s over-produced sports ceremony standards
it was
laughable, but even as a 7 year old I remember finding this comically
corny
and enjoyable.

We
had a meeting with Asics Benelux (Belgium/Nederland/Luxemburg), one
of our sponsors, last week. The Asics guy we deal with spends a lot of
time
attending big venues and had just returned from the Winter Olympics.
He had heard of the Commonwealth Games, but didn’t know very much
about it, a typical response in Europe, and similar to how most Americans
respond. For nations that aren’t involved it’s understandable
that there is very little interest or knowledge of the event, but from
a squash perspective it’s
a very big tournament with a lot of prestige at stake, so here are a
few facts about the Commonwealth Games you probably should know:

saudi intl
Karak, the 2006 Commonwealth Games
Black Cockateel.

Melbourne’s
2006 event will host 4500 athletes from 71 countries, organized
by 15 000 volunteers. This is an impressive progression from the 400
athletes from 11 nations who attended the first event in Hamilton, Canada
in
1930. Back then it was called the British Empire Games, because it was
attended by former British colonies. A lot has changed in the 76 years
since
it began, but one factor that remains constant is it is the only major
International sporting event where all of the athletes speak the same
language.

The Commonwealth Games are held every four years. The past 17 events
have
been hosted in 15 different cities across eight different nations. They
were:

1930 Hamilton (Canada)
1934 London (England)
1938 Sydney (Australia)

World War 2

1950 Auckland (New Zealand)
1954 Vancouver (Canada)
1958 Carfiff (Wales )
1962 Perth (Australia)
1966 Kingston (Jamaica)
1970 Edinburgh (Scotland)
1974 Christchurch (New Zealand)
1978 Edmonton (Canada)
1982 Brisbane (Australia)
1986 Edinburgh (Scotland),
1990 Auckland (New Zealand)
1994 Victoria (Canada)
1998 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
2002 Manchester (England)

Of
the 71 competing nations that you see below, I’d
only consider 9 to be
serious squash nations. But because Britain is the common factor between
all
of the countries, and squash is an English sport, 7 of the world’s
top 10
are competing (if Power still played squash it would be 8).

Let
the games begin.


The
Competing Nations

Oceania

Australia
Cook Islands
Fiji
Kiribati
Nauru
New Zealand
Niue
Norfolk Island
Papua New Guinea
Samoa Solomon Islands
Tonga
Tuvalu Vanuatu

Asia

Bangladesh
Brunei
Darussalam
India
Malaysia
Maldives
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka

Europe

Cyprus
England
Gibraltar
Guernsey
Isle of Man
Jersey
Malta
Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales

Americas

Belize
Bermuda
Canada
Falkland Islands
Guyana
St Helena

Caribbean

Anguilla
Antigua and Barbuda
Bahamas
Barbados
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Dominica
Grenada
Jamaica
Montserrat
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands

Africa

Botswana
Cameroon
Ghana
Kenya
Lesotho
Malawi
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Nigeria
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Swaziland
Tanzania
The Gambia
Uganda
Zambia


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