2002 Commonwealth Games

The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in Manchester, England, United Kingdom, from 25 July to 4 August 2002. The XVII Commonwealth Games was, prior the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the UK, eclipsing previous editions held in London in 1934, Cardiff in 1958, Edinburgh in 1970 and 1986 and also London's 1948 Summer Olympics in numbers of teams and athletes participating. Manchester aimed to host a major sporting event, but failed in two previous attempts to host the Olympic Games of 1996 and 2000. The 2002 Games were to be hosted in the United Kingdom to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, and Manchester was selected for the 2002 Games ahead of London.

The Games were considered a success for the host city, providing an event to showcase the transformation of Manchester following the 1996 bombing. The Games formed the catalyst for the widespread regeneration and heavy development of Manchester, and bolstered its reputation as a European and Global City internationally. Rapid economic development and continued urban regeneration of the now post-industrial Manchester continued after the Games which helped cement its place as one of the principal cultural cities in the United Kingdom.

The opening and closing ceremonies, the athletic and the rugby sevens events were held at the City of Manchester Stadium, which was purpose built for the Games. Unusually for a large multi-sport event – the second largest competition by number of countries and athletes participating – the shooting events were held in the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, some 200 miles (322 km) from the main focus of the Games in Manchester. Seventy-two nations competed in 14 individual sports and 3 team sports events.

Sporting legacy includes the British Cycling team who inherited the Manchester Velodrome and went on to win eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics, partly attributed to the availability of the velodrome. Manchester City F.C. inherited the City of Manchester Stadium, and as a result, have since found themselves in a desirable investment opportunity in age of foreign football investment. The club was taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group led by Sheikh Mansour in 2008, without the stadium, a takeover would have been far less certain. The club are now much more successful, which has heightened their rivalry with Manchester United, and subsequently drawn yet more attention to the city. The staging of the Games encouraged the London 2012 Olympics bid, which was subsequently won in 2005.

Read more about 2002 Commonwealth Games:  Calendar, Participating Countries, Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony

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