Tuesday, 13 February marked 50 days to the opening ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Team SA will bring you a daily snippet of Commonwealth Games facts and figures to celebrate these auspicious Games.
50 – The first official Games were held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930 and at the time were called the British Empire Games.
49 – The 1930 Games featured just six sports codes – the only code with female competitors was swimming.
48 – In 1911, the first ‘Commonwealth Games type’ event was held – the ‘Festival of Empire’ was held in London to celebrate the coronation of King George V. As part of the festival, an Inter-Empire Championships was held with teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom participating.
47 – The three core values of the Commonwealth Games (adopted in 2001) are: Humanity, Equality & Destiny.
46 – South Africa’s first Commonwealth Games since re-admission were the 1994 Games in Victoria, British Columbia where they ended 12th on the medals table with 11 medals.
45 – Motto of the 1994 Commonwealth Games was ‘Catch the Spirit’.
44 – The motto of the 2018 Gold Coast Games is: ‘It’s our time to shine’.
43 – The Commonwealth Paraplegic Games were held alongside the Commonwealth Games from 1962 to 1974.
42 – The youngest members of Team SA at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be swimmers Dune Coetzee and Luan Grobbelaar (both aged 15).
41 – The oldest member of Team SA at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be visually impaired bowler Princess Schreuder (aged 67).
40 – The first time there was a games mascot was in 1978 in Edmonton, a Swan Hills Grizzly Bear called Keyano.
39 – The first time an Asian country hosted the Games was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998.
38 –The first time team sports were played at the Commonwealth Games was in 1998, when cricket, men’s and women’s hockey, netball and rugby sevens were added to the programme.
37 – In 1998, the Queen’s Baton was carried into the stadium on an elephant.
36 – The Kuala Lumpur 1998 Queen’s Baton Relay was the first to deliver the relay to other nations of the Commonwealth, besides England and the host country.
35 –The Kuala Lumpur 1998 Queen’s Baton Relay was the first to deliver the relay to other nations of the Commonwealth, besides England and the host country.
34 – The relay baton has traditionally contained the message from the Queen to the athletes. For the 2006 Games in Melbourne, the ‘Queen’s message’ was actually stored on a memory chip attached to the baton.
33 – Only six nations have attended every Commonwealth Games – Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.
32 – There is only one male-only core sports at the Commonwealth Games, namely Rugby Sevens.
31 – Netball is the only female-only core sport at the Commonwealth Games.
30 – The Republic of Ireland used to be part of the British Empire but left the Commonwealth Games just after the second World War.
29 – Two cities have hosted Commonwealth Games more than one time: Auckland, New Zealand (1950 and 1990) and Edinburgh, Scotland (1970 and 1986).
28 – South Africa had a prince at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (bowler Prince Neluonde) and will have a princess at the 2018 Games (Princess Schroeder, also bowls).
27 – Rugby Sevens player Cecil Africa was the flag bearer for Team SA at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
26 – The 2018 Games will be the fifth time Australia have staged the Commonwealth Games.
25 – Nine countries have hosted the Commonwealth Games – Australia (five times), Canada (four), New Zealand (3), Scotland (3), England (2) and Wales, Jamaica, Malaysia and India.
24 – The total number of sports at any Commonwealth Games may not exceed 20.
23 – Eighteen sports, including seven para-sports, will offer 275 gold medals to be won at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
22 – Commonwealth Games host cities must include four mandatory para-sports events – the four are: athletics, lawn bowls, powerlifting, swimming
21 – There will be 18 competition venues at this year’s Gold Coast Games
20 – Around 6600 athletes and team officials will travel to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Games.
19 – More than 3500 accredited and non-accredited media will cover the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
18 – Security will be a combined operation between 4500 private security guards, 2000 Australian Defence Force personnel and 3500 Queensland police staff.
17 – The Commonwealth Games are sometimes known as the Friendly games, this is as the countries can all speak one language (English).
16 – $2-billion is the estimated economic impact the Gold Coast Games will have on the Gold Coast and Queensland.
15 – $320 million has been invested in sport and community infrastructure.
14 – Just 11 countries took part in the 1930 Commonwealth Games in Hamilton, Canada – 71 nations will be at the 2018 version of the Games.
13 – Since 1930 the Commonwealth Games have been held every four years – except for 1942 and 1946 due to World War II.
12 – The 2018 Gold Coast Games will generate 30,000 full-time equivalent jobs across various sectors.
11 –More than one million spectators are expected to watch the Games across 18 venues located on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville.
10 – A total of 15,000 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games volunteers were selected from 47,000 applications.
9 – The Athletes Village at the Commonwealth Games will have six resident centres
8 – Did you know that softball is recognised by the Commonwealth Games Federation, but was only ever contested once during the 20th century, at the 1930 Empire Games
7 – The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton Relay always begins at Buckingham Palace, England
6 – The earliest the Commonwealth Games have been staged was in Auckland, New Zealand (1990) when the start date was 24 January.
5 – More than 350 cameras are set to broadcast 1100 hours of live sport
4 – Athletes and support staff will be accommodated by 1170 apartments in the Commonwealth Games Village
3 – 800 bus services daily will operate during the Commonwealth Games
2 – The motto for the 2022 Games in Birmingham, England is: Heart of the UK, Soul of the Commonwealth
1 – Finally! One day to go! Did you know that an estimated 27,000 meals will be served daily in the Athletes Village of the 2018 Commonwealth Games – here’s hoping Team South Africa’s athletes serve up a feast of sporting excellence between 4-15 April.