With as many as 53 participating countries and 6,500 athletes, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games – broadcast in the UK by the BBC – promised to produce an eclectic mix of fun and sport during the course of 11 days – but what secret facts does the event keep to itself?
The games were founded in 1930 and took place in Hamilton, Canada with 400 athletes from 11 countries participating. This year’s sporting extravaganza kicked off with an awe inspiring opening ceremony. The Scottish team wore colourful kilts designed by students from Glasgow’s School of Art and over 40 Scottie dogs also took part in the inaugural procession, plus, of course, other athletes from the competing nations.
Interesting facts about the Common Wealth Games from Virgin Media’s recent infographic show that Matilda the kangaroo mascot of the 1982 Brisbane games is still enduringly popular – though Glasgow’s thistle shaped Clyde looks set to capture plenty of hearts.
Many countries– a single sporting event
This year’s event was launched in 2013 with the Queen’s Baton Relay. This emblem of the games travelled to countries where the monarch is known as ‘Mises Kwin’ to return to Glasgow’s Celtic Park where Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and Malaysian Prince Tunku Imran opened the games.
Cultural diversity and sporting excellence are the key components of the games and although there are many different countries involved, they all have a shared aim.
Commonwealth Games food curios
During the course of the sporting events, athletes will consume 500,000 portions of fruit and a massive 60 tonnes of potatoes. Where possible food served to the participants will be locally sourced.
Winners and losers
Nauru may be the world’s smallest nation but athletes from this tiny Pacific island have won an impressive 28 medals to date. Unfortunately 19 competition countries have yet to add a single medal to their trophy cabinets and the Caribbean island of Montserrat is among this number.
The Channel Islands do well in the shooting competition and both Guernsey and Jersey won gold medals in this discipline in 1990.
Size doesn’t matter
India may have the largest population in the Commonwealth but the pocket sized Pacific island Niue, with a tiny population of 1,190, has sent 26 athletes to compete in lawn bowls, athletics and shooting events. If you choose to tune into the games you’ll be in the company of the 1.5 billion international fans who will follow this truly global event.