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Commonwealth Games

The third largest multi-sport event in the world.

Introduction

The Commonwealth Games are an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930, and has taken place every four years since then. The Commonwealth Games were known as the British Empire Games from 1930 to 1950, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games from 1954 to 1966, and British Commonwealth Games from 1970 to 1974. It is the world's first multi-sport event which inducted equal number of women’s and men’s medal events and was implemented recently in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Their creation was inspired by the Inter-Empire Championships, as a part of the Festival of Empire, which were held in London, United Kingdom in 1911. Melville Marks Robinson founded the games as the British Empire Games which were first hosted in Hamilton in 1930. During the 20th and 21st centuries, the evolution of the games movement has resulted in several changes to the Commonwealth Games. Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Commonwealth Winter Games for snow and ice sports for the commonwealth athletes, the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games for commonwealth athletes with a disability and the Commonwealth Youth Games for commonwealth athletes aged 14 to 18. The first edition of the winter games and paraplegic games were held in 1958 and 1962 respectively, with their last edition held in 1966 and 1974 respectively and the first youth games were held in 2000. The 1942 and 1946 Commonwealth Games were cancelled because of the Second World War.

The Commonwealth Games are overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), which also controls the sporting programme and selects the host cities. The games movement consists of international sports federations (IFs), (CGAs), and organising committees for each specific Commonwealth Games. There are several rituals and symbols, such as the Commonwealth Games flag and Queen's Baton, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Over 5,000 athletes compete at the Commonwealth Games in more than 15 different sports and more than 250 events. The first, second, and third-place finishers in each event receive Commonwealth Games medals: gold, silver, and bronze, respectively. Apart from many Olympic sports, the games also include some sports which are played predominantly in Commonwealth countries but which are not part of the Olympic programme, such as lawn bowls, netball and squash.

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The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-three independent member states. All but two (Mozambique and Rwanda) of these countries were formerly part of the British Empire, out of which it developed.

The member states cooperate within a framework of common values and goals as outlined in the Singapore Declaration. These include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace. The Commonwealth is not a political union, but an intergovernmental organisation through which countries with diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status.

Its activities are carried out through the permanent Commonwealth Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General, and biennial meetings between Commonwealth Heads of Government. The symbol of their free association is the Head of the Commonwealth, which is a ceremonial position currently held by Queen Elizabeth II. Elizabeth II is also monarch, separately and independently, of sixteen Commonwealth members, which are known as the "Commonwealth realms".

The Commonwealth is a forum for a number of non-governmental organisations, collectively known as the Commonwealth Family, which are fostered through the intergovernmental Commonwealth Foundation. The Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth's most visible activity, are a product of one of these organisations. These organisations strengthen the shared culture of the Commonwealth, which extends through common sports, literary heritage, and political and legal practices. Due to this, Commonwealth countries are not considered to be "foreign" to one another. Reflecting this, diplomatic missions between Commonwealth countries are designated as High Commissions rather than embassies.

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Vijender Singh Beniwal (Hindi: विजेन्द्र सिंह बेनीवाल) (born October 29, 1985) (also known as Vijender Singh or Vijender Beniwal) is an Olympic Medalist Indian boxer from Kalwas, Bhiwani district in Haryana. He belongs to a family of Jat ethnicity. Vijender’s early days were spent in his village where he did his schooling, after which he received a bachelor’s degree from a local college in Bhiwani. He practiced boxing at the Bhiwani Boxing Club where coach Jagdish Singh recognized his talent and encouraged him to take to professional boxing.

Vijender went on to compete at the sub-junior nationals where he won a silver medal for two years in succession. Having won medals in different competitions at the national level, Vijender was picked to train and compete at several international level competitions such as the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. At the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, he won the bronze medal after losing the semifinal bout against Kazakhstan's Bakhtiyar Artayev. At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, he defeated Carlos Góngora of Ecuador 9–4 in the quarterfinals which guaranteed him a bronze medal—the first ever Olympic medal for an Indian boxer.

After this historic win, Vijender was given a number of awards, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award—India's highest sporting honour. In 2009, he participated at the World Amateur Boxing Championships where he won the bronze medal. In the same year, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced Vijender as the top-ranked boxer in its annual middleweight category list with 2800 points. He is credited for bringing back the sport of boxing into the limelight in India.

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The 2014 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XX Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Glasgow 2014, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in the tradition of the Commonwealth Games as governed by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). It took place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 23 July to 3 August 2014. Glasgow was selected as the host city on 9 November 2007 during CGF General Assembly in Colombo, Sri Lanka, defeating Abuja, Nigeria. It was the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland with around 4,950 athletes from 71 different nations and territories competing in 18 different sports, outranking the 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Over the last 10 years, however, Glasgow and Scotland had staged World, Commonwealth, European, or British events in all sports proposed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, including the World Badminton Championships in 1997. The Games received acclaim for their organisation, attendance, and the public enthusiasm of the people of Scotland, with Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper hailing them as "the standout games in the history of the movement". Held in Scotland for the third time, the Games were notable for the successes of the Home Nations of the United Kingdom, with England, Wales and hosts Scotland achieving their largest ever gold medal hauls and overall medal hauls at a Commonwealth Games. England finished top of the medal table for the first time since the 1986 Commonwealth Games, also held in Scotland. Kiribati also won its first ever medal at a Commonwealth Games, a gold in the 105 kg men's weightlifting competition.
Statue in Vancouver, British Columbia of John Landy of Australia and Roger Bannister of England.
Credit: User:Skeezix1000

On 7 August, at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Roger Bannister competed against John Landy for the first time in a race billed as "The Miracle Mile". They were the only two men in the world to have broken the 4-minute barrier, with Landy still holding the world record.

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