The Commonwealth Games are to Canada what the Olympic Games are to Greece as the first Commonwealth Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Bobby Robinson, a major influence within athletics in Canada at the time, finally implemented the event that had been talked about amongst Commonwealth nations for over thirty years. Eleven countries with 400 athletes in total participated in the first Commonwealth Games. $30,000 was provided by the City of Hamilton to these nations to help cover travelling costs. Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years, except for 1942 and 1946, due to World War II and have grown from 400 athletes to 8,500 athletes expected for the next Games in Delhi, India in 2010.
From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, then the British Empire and Commonwealth Games until 1962. From 1966 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games and from 1978 onwards they have been known as simply the Commonwealth Games.
While other Games around the globe have been founded on geographic or climatic factors such as the Asian, Pan Am, African Games and Winter Olympics, the Commonwealth Games has been founded on history. Unique characteristics of the Commonwealth Games include being the only Games which shares a common language. All athletes and officials can converse with each other in English, creating an atmosphere that has led to the Commonwealth Games being long known as the "Friendly Games".
The bonds of the Commonwealth Games help to encourage and support the pursuit of health and fitness in each of the 71 member nations and territories and provide an inspiration for youth to strive for excellence.
Over 70 nations and territories from every continent but Antarctica compete in the Commonwealth Games. Click here for a list of participating countries.
Lawn bowls and rugby are both core sports of the Commonwealth Games, which is probably the only thing these two sports have in common! Click here to find out the complete list Commonwealth Games core sports.
The Commonwealth Games have been hosted in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Click here for the complete list of host cities.