Report

Commonwealth Games: friendly rivalry

6 Nov 2013
Description

This paper looks back at how the Commonwealth Games came to be, Australia’s experience of staging the event and contemplates how the Gold Coast will deal with that legacy and surmount perceived and unexpected complications that will inevitably surface before the 2018 Games’ Opening Ceremony.

Executive summary

  • Elite athletes from the Commonwealth meet every four years to compete in the multi-sport event known as the Commonwealth Games.
  • While the Commonwealth Games boasts many similarities to the Olympics, it differs in the more relaxed and ‘friendly’ spirit of competition, which is a highlight of most events.
  • The spirit of friendship has not always prevailed, however, and there have been serious rifts between Commonwealth nations that have manifested themselves in boycotts of the Games. While these have threatened at times to dissolve, or seriously weaken the Commonwealth, solutions have always been found and the Commonwealth and its Games have endured.
  • Australia was one of a group of nations that first participated in competition between Britain and its colonies in 1911; it has participated in the Games in all its forms since that time. It is acknowledged as the most successful of the Commonwealth nations in this sporting competition—winning over 200 more medals than its nearest rival.
  • Australian cities have hosted the Games four times. While there have been some hiccoughs in the staging of each event—some social, and some economic—Sydney, Perth and Brisbane have all received accolades and Melbourne was praised as ‘the best’ following the 2006 Games.
  • In 2018 Australia will host another Commonwealth Games—on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
  • This paper looks back at how the Games came to be, Australia’s experience of staging the event and contemplates how the Gold Coast will deal with that legacy and surmount perceived and unexpected complications that will inevitably surface before the 2018 Games’ Opening Ceremony.
Publication Details
Published year only: 
2013
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