So, are all you Americans looking forward the Games? You know, the international ones held every four years? They were held in Melbourne 4 years ago. They’ll be in Glasgow in 2014. And they’re just about to start in Delhi! Isn’t it exciting?
Don’t you hope that your favourite athlete takes home the Gold Medal? What’s your favourite sport in the Games: Cricket? Lawn Bowls? How about Rugby Sevens?
“Wait,” you are probably saying. “The Olympics aren’t until 2012, and will be in London. What is she talking about? And what’s Lawn Bowls.”
I’m talking about The Commonwealth Games, of course! You haven’t heard about the Commonwealth Games before? Well… neither had I until I moved to Canada.
What started as the British Empire Games in 1930 is now the Commonwealth Games, a very similar event to the Olympics, but only involving countries that are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. The games have a decidedly British feel. Instead of a Torch relay, there is a Queen’s Baton Relay to open the games and honor Queen Elizabeth II. The military is displayed in the opening ceremonies as a tribute to the British military of the old British Empire. And, the sports presented range from the typical – like archery, swimming and boxing – to the clearly British – like netball, badminton and squash. And, of course, for the Canadians: hockey!
They’ve been advertising the athletes on cereal boxes and talking about the games on the radio. To think, all this has been going on, involving 54 different countries for 80 years, and I never knew anything about it until now. How about you?