The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years, apart from the 1950 British Empire Games, which took place after a 12-year gap from the 3rd edition of the games. The Games are described as the third largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympic Games and the Asian Games.
It was initially known as the British Empire Games and was renamed to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954 and the British Commonwealth Games in 1970, before finally gaining its current title for the 1978 edition. The Games are overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), which also controls the sporting programme and selects the host cities. A host city is selected for each edition and eighteen cities in seven countries have hosted the event.
As well as many Olympic sports, the Games also include some sports that are played mainly in Commonwealth countries, such as lawn bowls, rugby sevens and netball. Only six teams have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. Australia has been the highest achieving team for eleven games, England for seven and Canada for one.
Although there are 54 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 71 teams participate in the Commonwealth Games as a number of British overseas territories, Crown dependencies, and island states compete under their own flag. The four Home Nations of the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – also send separate teams.
Famous quotes containing the words commonwealth and/or games:
“The commonwealth of Athens is become a forest of beasts.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“In 1600 the specialization of games and pastimes did not extend beyond infancy; after the age of three or four it decreased and disappeared. From then on the child played the same games as the adult, either with other children or with adults. . . . Conversely, adults used to play games which today only children play.”
—Philippe Ariés (20th century)