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A Brief history of the Commonwealth Games

The very first Commonwealth Games were held in Hamilton, Canada in the year 1930. Canadian Athlete, Bobby Robinson was the key force behind the start of the games as he finally put talks that were taking place for decades into practice.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2010 10:33 IST
Raghav Sikka

The very first Commonwealth Games were held in Hamilton, Canada in the year 1930. Canadian Athlete, Bobby Robinson was the key force behind the start of the games as he finally put talks that were taking place for decades into practice. A total of 11 nations accumulating 400 athletes participated in CWG 1930.

Since 1930 the games have been taking place once in every four years except 1942 and 1946 due to the intervention of World War II. Out of the 16 games that have been played so far, four of them have been hosted by Australian cities (Sydney 1938, Perth 1962, Brisbane 1982 and Melbourne 2006).

The name of the Games has been shuffled quite a few times. Between the years 1930 and 1950, the Commonwealth Games were renamed as the British Empire Games and then the British Empire. From 1966 to 1974, the games were called the British Commonwealth Games and 1978 onwards they were titled to what is now the Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games were founded on the basis of history and not on the nations geographical position or climatic conditions. One of the main characteristics of the Games is that the participating countries share one common language. From athletes to coaches and other officials, everyone can converse with each other in English, creating a friendly atmosphere leading to the games often being called as the "Friendly Games".

In order to keep the Games always competitive and exciting, the Commonwealth Games Federation agreed to include team sports in Kuala Lumpur 1998 for the first time in the history of the Games.

Unlike other sporting events, Commonwealth Games bring together nations from different continents under one roof sharing the family spirit of the same historical moments, experiences and links that go beyond cultural barriers.