Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games (known as the British Empire Games from 1930–1950, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games from 1954–1966, and British Commonwealth Games from 1970–1974) is an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930, and, with the exception of 1942 and 1946, which were cancelled due to World War II, has taken place every four years since then.[1] The most recent Commonwealth Games were held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014.

The games are overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), which also controls the sporting programme and selects the host cities. A host city is selected for each edition. 18 cities in seven countries have hosted the event. Apart from many Olympic sports, the games also include some sports that are played predominantly in Commonwealth countries, such as lawn bowls and netball.[2]

Although there are 52 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 70 teams participate in the Commonwealth Games, as a number of dependent territories compete under their own flags. The four Home Nations of the United KingdomEngland, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—also send separate teams.

Nine nations have hosted the Commonwealth Games. Australia has hosted four Commonwealth Games (1938, 1962, 1982, 2006) and will host for the fifth time in 2018. Canada has hosted four Commonwealth Games (1930, 1954, 1978, 1994). Two cities have hosted Commonwealth Games more than one time: Auckland (1950, 1990) and Edinburgh (1970, 1986). Malaysia and India have hosted the games in 1998 and 2010 respectively.

Only six countries have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. Australia has been the highest achieving team for twelve games, England for seven, and Canada for one.

History of the Games

A sporting competition bringing together the members of the British Empire was first proposed by John Astley Cooper in 1891, when he wrote an article in The Times suggesting a "Pan-Britannic-Pan-Anglican Contest and Festival every four years as a means of increasing goodwill and good understanding of the British Empire". The John Astley Cooper Committees worldwide (e.g. Australia) helped Pierre de Coubertin to get his international Olympic Games off the ground.[3] In 1911, the Festival of the Empire was held at The Crystal Palace in London to celebrate the coronation of George V. As part of the Festival of the Empire, an Inter-Empire Championships was held in which teams from Australasia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom competed in athletics, boxing, wrestling and swimming events.

Editions of the Games

During the 20th century

British Empire Games

The 1930 British Empire Games were the first of what later become known as the Commonwealth Games, and were held in Hamilton, in the province of Ontario in Canada from August 16–23, 1930. In 1928, Melville Marks Robinson of Canada was asked to organise the first British Empire Games. Eleven countries sent a total of 400 athletes to the Hamilton Games. The opening and closing ceremonies as well as athletics took place at Civic Stadium. Women competed in only the swimming events. The participant nations were Australia, Bermuda, British Guyana, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales. The Hamilton Games featured six sports: athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving and wrestling and ran at a cost of $97,973.[4]

The 1934 British Empire Games were the second of what is now known as the Commonwealth Games, held in London, England. The host city was London, with the main venue at Wembley Park, although the track cycling events were in Manchester. The 1934 Games had originally been awarded to Johannesburg, but were given to London instead because of the potential for prejudiced treatment of black and Asian athletes in South Africa. Seventeen national teams took part, including the Irish Free State (the only Games in which they did take part) [5] and new participants Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Southern Rhodesia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Opening ceremony of the 1938 British Empire Games at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 1938 British Empire Games was the third British Empire Games, which were held in SydneyNew South Wales, Australia. They were timed to coincide with Sydney's sesqui-centenary (150 years since the foundation of British settlement in Australia). Held in the southern hemisphere for the first time, the III Games opening ceremony took place at the famed Sydney Cricket Ground in front of 40,000 spectators. Fifteen nations participated down under at the Sydney Games involving a total of 464 athletes and 43 officials. Fiji and Ceylon made their debuts. Seven sports were featured in the Sydney Games – athletics, boxing, cycling, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving and wrestling.[6]

The 1950 British Empire Games was the fourth edition and was held in Auckland, New Zealand after a 12-year gap from the 3rd edition of the games. The fourth games were originally awarded to Montreal, Canada and were to be held in 1942 but were cancelled due to World War II. The opening ceremony at Eden Park was attended by 40,000 spectators, whilst nearly 250,000 people attended the Auckland Games. Twelve countries sent a total of 590 athletes to Auckland. Malaya and Nigeria made their first appearances.[7]

British Empire and Commonwealth Games

The 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games which were fifth edition, were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. These were the first games since the name change from British Empire Games took effect in 1952. The 5th edition of the Games placed Vancouver on a world stage and featured memorable sporting moments as well as outstanding entertainment, technical innovation and cultural events. The ‘Miracle Mile’, as it became known, saw both the gold medallist, Roger Bannister of England and silver medallist John Landy of Australia, run sub-four minute races in an event that was televised live across the world for the first time.[8] Northern Rhodesia and Pakistan made their debuts and both performed well, winning eight and six medals respectively.

3pence British stamp with theme of 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Cardiff, Wales

The 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in CardiffWales The sixth edition of the games marked the largest sporting event ever held in Wales and it was the smallest country ever to host a British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Cardiff had to wait 12 years longer than originally scheduled to become host of the Games, as the 1946 event was cancelled because of World War II. The Cardiff Games introduced the Queen's Baton Relay, which has been conducted as a prelude to every British Empire and Commonwealth Games ever since. Thirty-five nations sent a total of 1,122 athletes and 228 officials to the Cardiff Games and 23 countries and dependencies won medals, including for the first time, Singapore, Ghana, Kenya and the Isle of Man.[9]

The 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in PerthWestern AustraliaAustralia. Thirty-five countries sent a total of 863 athletes and 178 officials to Perth. Jersey was amongst the medal winners for the first time, whilst British Honduras, Dominica, Papua and New Guinea and St Lucia all made their inaugural Games appearances. Aden also competed by special invitation. Sarawak, North Borneo and Malaya competed for the last time before taking part in 1966 under the Malaysian flag.[10] In addition, Rhodesia and Nyasaland competed in the Games as an entity for the first and only time.

The 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Kingston, Jamaica. This was the first time that the Games had been held outside the so-called White Dominions. Thirty-four nations (including South Arabia) competed in the Kingston Games sending a total of 1,316 athletes and officials.[11]

British Commonwealth Games

The 1970 British Commonwealth Games were held in EdinburghScotland. This was the first time the name British Commonwealth Games was adopted, the first time metric units rather than imperial units were used in events, the first time the games were held in Scotland and also the first time that HM Queen Elizabeth II attended in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth.[12]

The 1974 British Commonwealth Games were held in ChristchurchNew Zealand. The Games were officially named "the friendly games". Following the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the tenth games at Christchurch was the first multi-sport event to place the safety of participants and spectators as its uppermost requirement. Security guards surrounded the athlete’s village and there was an exceptionally high-profile police presence. Only 22 countries succeeded in winning medals from the total haul of 374 medals on offer, but first time winners included Western Samoa, Lesotho and Swaziland.[13]

Commonwealth Games

The 1978 Commonwealth Games were held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. These games was the first to bear the current day name of the Commonwealth Games and also marked a new high as almost 1,500 athletes from 46 countries took part. They were boycotted by Nigeria, in protest of New Zealand's sporting contacts with apartheid-era South Africa, as well as by Uganda, in protest of alleged Canadian hostility towards the government of Idi Amin.[14][15]

Opening ceremony of the 1982 Commonwealth Games at Brisbane, Australia

The 1982 Commonwealth Games were held in BrisbaneQueenslandAustralia. Forty-six nations participated in the Brisbane Games with a new record total of 1,583 athletes and 571 officials. As hosts, Australia headed the medal table leading the way ahead of England, Canada, Scotland and New Zealand respectively.[16] Zimbabwe made its first appearance at the Games, having earlier competed as Southern Rhodesia and as part of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

The 1986 Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland and were the second Games to be held in Edinburgh. Participation at the 1986 Games was affected by a boycott by 32 African, Asian and Caribbean nations in protest of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's refusal to condemn sporting contacts of Apartheid era South Africa in 1985, but the Games rebounded and continued to grow thereafter. Twenty-six nations did attend the second Edinburgh Games and sent a total of 1,662 athletes and 461 officials.[17]

The 1990 Commonwealth Games were held in AucklandNew Zealand. It was the fourteenth Commonwealth Games, the third to be hosted by New Zealand and Auckland’s second. A new record of 55 nations participated in the second Auckland Games sending 2,826 athletes and officials.[18] Pakistan returned to the Commonwealth in 1989 after withdrawing in 1972, and competed in the 1990 Games after an absence of twenty years.[19]

The 1994 Commonwealth Games were held in Victoria, in the province of British Columbia in Canada for the fourth time. The games marked South Africa's return to the Commonwealth Games following the apartheid era, and over 30 years since the country last competed in the Games in 1958. Namibia made its Games debut. It was also Hong Kong's last appearance at the games before the transfer of sovereignty from Britain to China. Sixty-three nations sent 2,557 athletes and 914 officials.[20]

The 1998 Commonwealth Games were held in Kuala LumpurMalaysia. For the first time in its 68-year history, the Commonwealth Games were held in Asia. The sixteenth games were also the first Games to feature team sports - an overwhelming success that added large numbers to both participant and TV audience numbers. A new record of 70 countries sent a total of 5,065 athletes and officials to the Kuala Lumpur Games. The top five countries in the medal standing were Australia, England, Canada, Malaysia and South Africa. Nauru also achieved an impressive haul of three gold medals. Cameroon, Mozambique and Kiribati debuted.[21]

During the 21st century

The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in Manchester, England. The 2002 Games were to be hosted in England to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth. In terms of sports and events, the 2002 Games were until the 2010 edition the largest Commonwealth Games in history featuring 281 events across 17 sports. The final medal tally was led by Australia, followed by host England and Canada. The 2002 Commonwealth Games set a new benchmark for hosting the Commonwealth Games and for cities wishing to bid for them with a heavy emphasis on legacy.[22]

The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held in Melbourne, Australia. The only difference between the 2006 games and the 2002 games was the absence of Zimbabwe, which withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations. For the first time in the history of the Games the Queen's Baton visited every single Commonwealth nation and territory taking part in the Games, a journey of 180,000 km (112,500 miles). Over 4000 athletes took part in the sporting competitions. The final medal tally was led by the host Australia, followed by England and Canada.[23]

The 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in Delhi, India. The Games cost $11 billion and are the most expensive Commonwealth Games ever. It was the first time that the Commonwealth Games were held in India and the second time they were held in Asia after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998.  It was also the second time a Commonwealth Republic hosted the games, after Malaysia in 1998. A total of 6,081 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and dependencies competed in 21 sports and 272 events. The final medal tally was led by Australia. The host nation India achieved its best performance ever in any sporting event, finishing second overall.[24] Rwanda made its Games debut.[25]

The 2014 Commonwealth Games were held in Glasgow, Scotland. 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, capital city of ScotlandUsain Bolt competed in the 4 × 100 metres relay of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and set a Commonwealth Games record with his teammates.[26] 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".[27]

The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and the host nation will be going to host the games for the fifth time. There will be an equal number of events for men and women. This marks the first time in history that a major multi-sport event will have equality in terms of events.[28][29]

The three nations to have hosted the Commonwealth Games the most times are Australia (5), Canada (4) and New Zealand (3). Furthermore, six editions have taken place in the countries within the United Kingdom (Scotland (3), England (2) and Wales (1)), twice in Asia (Malaysia (1) and India (1)) and once in the Caribbean (Jamaica (1)).[1]

Inclusion of para-sports

The first Commonwealth Paraplegic Games were held alongside the Commonwealth Games from 1962 to 1974.[30] Athletes with a disability were then first included in exhibition events at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia,[31] and, at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, they were included as full members of their national teams, making them the first fully inclusive international multi-sport games. This meant that results were included in the medal count.[32]

Youth Games

In the year 2000 the CGF took on the added responsibility of the Commonwealth Youth Games, open to athletes 18 years of age and under the Youth Games provide an excellent opportunity for aspiring young athletes from the Commonwealth with a taste of what the Commonwealth Games has in store for them in the future. The inaugural Games were in Edinburgh, Scotland with the last edition being hosted in 2004 in Bendigo, Australia with Pune, India in 2008 hosting the 3rd edition. In such a short space of time the Youth Games has grown in stature and this is evidenced by award of the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games to the Isle of Man, the 2015 edition to Samoa and Bahamas in 2017.

List of Commonwealth Games

Edition Year Host Opened by Start Date End Date Sports Events Nations Competitors Top Nation
Inter-Empire Championships
- 1911 England London, England George V 12 May 1 June 4 94 Unknown  Canada
British Empire Games
I 1930 Canada Hamilton, Canada Lord Willingdon 16 August 23 August 65911400  England
II 1934 England London, England 4 August 11 August 6 6816 500  England
III 1938 Australia Sydney, Australia 5 February 12 February 7 7115 464  Australia
IV 1950 New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Bernard Freyberg 4 February 11 February 9 88 12 590  Australia
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
V 1954 Canada Vancouver, Canada Harold Alexander 30 July 7 August 9 91 24 662  England
VI 1958 Wales Cardiff, Wales 18 July 26 July 9 94 36 1122  England
VII 1962 Australia Perth, Australia 22 November 1 December 9 104 35 863  Australia
VIII 1966 Jamaica Kingston, Jamaica 4 August 13 August 9 11034 1050  England
British Commonwealth Games
IX 1970 Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 16 July 25 July 9 121 421383  Australia
X 1974 New Zealand Christchurch, New Zealand Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 24 January 2 February 9 121 381276  Australia
Commonwealth Games
XI 1978 Canada Edmonton, Canada Elizabeth II 3 August 12 August 10 128 461474  Canada
XII 1982 Australia Brisbane, Australia Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 30 September 9 October 10 142 461583  Australia
XIII 1986 Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland Elizabeth II 24 July 2 August 10 163 26 1662  England
XIV 1990 New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Prince Edward 24 January 3 February 10 204 552073  Australia
XV 1994 Canada Victoria, Canada Elizabeth II 18 August 28 August 10 217 63 2557  Australia
XVI 1998 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad 11 September 21 September 15 213 70 3633  Australia
XVII 2002 England Manchester, England Elizabeth II 25 July 4 August 17 281 72 3679  Australia
XVIII 2006 Australia Melbourne, Australia Elizabeth II 15 March 26 March 16 245 714049  Australia
XIX 2010 India Delhi, India Pratibha Patil 3 October 14 October 17 272 716081  Australia
XX 2014 Scotland Glasgow, Scotland Elizabeth II 23 July 3 August 17 261 71 4947  England
XXI 2018 Australia Gold Coast, Australia TBA 4 April 15 April 18 275 70
XXII 2022 Election in 2017

Note: The 1911 Inter-Empire Championships held in London is seen as a precursor to the modern Commonwealth Games, but is not normally considered an official edition of the Games themselves.[33]

All-time medal table

Rank Nation Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Australia (AUS) 20 852 716 650 2218
2  England (ENG) 20 669 670 669 2008
3  Canada (CAN) 20 469 476 528 1473
4  India (IND) 16 155 155 128 438
5  New Zealand (NZL) 20 144 203 262 609
6  South Africa (RSA) 12 117 112 123 352
7  Scotland (SCO) 20 110 119 178 407
8  Kenya (KEN) 15 81 68 71 220
9  Nigeria (NGR) 13 61 66 85 212
10  Wales (WAL) 20 57 86 127 270
11  Malaysia (MAS) 11 52 60 69 181
12  Jamaica (JAM) 16 52 38 44 134
13  Singapore (SIN) 15 31 25 30 86
14  Northern Ireland (NIR) 19 29 33 51 113
15  Pakistan (PAK) 12 24 24 21 69
16  Ghana (GHA) /  Gold Coast 15 15 18 24 57
17  Cyprus (CYP) 9 15 12 12 39
18  Uganda (UGA) 14 13 15 21 49
19  Cameroon (CMR) 5 10 10 14 34
20  Nauru (NRU) 7 10 10 9 29
21  Bahamas (BAH) 14 9 12 13 34
22  Trinidad and Tobago (TRI) 17 8 20 24 52
23  Zimbabwe (ZIM)[Note 1] 11 6 11 19 36
24  Tanzania 11 6 6 9 21
25  Hong Kong 10 5 2 10 17
26  Zambia [Note 2] 13 4 12 23 39
27  Sri Lanka[Note 3] 15 4 7 3 14
28  Papua New Guinea 13 4 5 2 11
29  Guyana /  British Guiana 17 3 6 6 15
30  Samoa 11 3 5 11 19
31  Fiji 15 3 4 8 15
32  Namibia 6 3 4 11 18
33  Isle of Man 15 3 2 6 11
34  Botswana 10 2 4 6 12
35  Barbados 15 2 3 7 12
36  Malaya 3 2 3 2 7
37  Bangladesh 8 2 2 2 6
 Mozambique 5 2 2 2 6
39  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 11 2 0 1 3
40  Mauritius 14 1 5 6 12
41  Guernsey 12 1 3 2 6
42  Bermuda 17 1 2 2 5
43  Grenada 9 1 1 1 3
 Lesotho 10 1 1 1 3
45  Jersey 15 1 0 3 4
46  Cayman Islands 10 1 0 1 2
47  Kiribati 5 1 0 0 1
48  Saint Kitts and Nevis 8 1 0 0 1
49  Seychelles 7 0 3 3 6
50  Malta 12 0 1 3 4
 Swaziland 12 0 1 3 4
52  Malawi 12 0 0 3 3
 Saint Lucia 10 0 0 3 3
 Tonga 9 0 0 3 3
55  Gambia 10 0 0 1 1
 Norfolk Island 8 0 0 1 1
  1. Totals for Zimbabwe include all medals won as Southern Rhodesia and Rhodesia and Nyasaland
  2. Totals for Zambia include all medals won as Northern Rhodesia
  3. Totals for Sri Lanka include all medals won as British Ceylon, and Dominion of Ceylon



The Commonwealth Games always starts with a grand opening ceremony. Various cultural and military shows are performed during the ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. The flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation, flag of the last hosting nation and the current hosting nation are hosted during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. The 2010 Commonwealth Games at Delhi, India was considered to have the most grand opening ceremony in the history of any Commonwealth Games and it was highly compared with the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games at Beijing, China. The cost of the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games was around $77 million which was the second costliest opening ceremony of any international sporting event in the world after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The 70 Commonwealth nations are called continent wise to have the athletes parade at the stadium and the last hosting nation of the games enters the first. The president or the head of the hosting nation declares the opening of the games, however the opening of the 2002, 2006 and 2014 Commonwealth Games were declared by Queen Elizabeth II.


Closing ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games at Delhi, India

The closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded. Flag-bearers from each participating country enter the stadium, followed by the athletes who enter together, without any national distinction. The president of the organizing committee and the CGF president make their closing speeches and the Games are officially closed. The David Dickson award for the best performance in the Commonwealth Games is presented to one athlete. The CGF president also speaks about the conduct of the games. The mayor of the city that organized the Games transfers the CGF flag to the president of the CGF, who then passes it on to the mayor of the city hosting the next Commonwealth Games. The next host nation then also briefly introduces itself with artistic displays of dance and theater representative of its culture. Many great artists and singers had performed at the ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games. For example: Kylie Minogue was the link between 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Commonwealth Games and sang at the 2014 games closing.

List of Commonwealth sports

There are a total of 22 sports (with three multi-disciplinary sports) and a further seven para-sports which are approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation. Core sports must be included on each programme. A number of optional sports may be picked by the host nation, which may include some team sports such as basketball.

Sport Type Years
Archery Optional 1982, 2010
Athletics Core 1911–present
Badminton Core 1966–present
Basketball Optional 2006, 2018
Boxing Core 1911–present
Canoeing Optional Never[34]
Cycling Optional 1934–present
Diving Optional 1930–present
Field hockey Core 1998–present
Gymnastics (Artistic) Optional 1978, 1990–present
Gymnastics (Rhythmic) Optional 1978, 1990–present
Judo Optional 1990, 2002, 2014
Lawn bowls Core 1930–1962, 1970–present
Netball Core 1998–present
Rowing Optional 1930, 1938–1962, 1986
Sport Type Years
Rugby sevens Core 1998–present
Sailing Optional Never
Shooting Optional 1966, 1974–present
Softball Optional Never
Squash Core 1998–present
Swimming Core 1911–present
Synchronized swimming Optional 1986–2006
Table tennis Optional 2002–present
Taekwondo Optional Never
Tennis Optional 2010
Ten-Pin Bowling Optional 1998
Triathlon Optional 2002, 2006, 2014
Volleyball (beach) Optional 2018
Weightlifting Core 1950–present
Wrestling Optional 1911–1986, 1994, 2002, 2010–present

Recognised sports are sports which have been approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation but which are deemed to need expansion; host nations may not pick these sports for their programme until the Federation's requirements are fulfilled.[35]

Sport Type Years
Billiards Recognised Never
Cricket Recognised 1998
Fencing Recognised 1950–1970
Association Football Recognised Never
Golf Recognised Never
Sport Type Years
Handball Recognised Never
Life saving Recognised Never
Rugby league Recognised Never
Volleyball (indoor) Recognised Never
Water Polo Recognised 1950


Only six teams have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. Australia has been the highest scoring team for twelve games, England for seven and Canada for one.

Locations of the games, and participating countries
  Countries that have hosted, or plan to host, the event
  Other countries that enter the games
  Countries that have entered the games but no longer do so
Host cities and year of games

Nation Years participated
 Aden1 1962
 Anguilla2 1998–
 Australasia 1911
 Antigua and Barbuda 1966–1970, 1978, 1994–
 Australia 1930–
 Bahamas 1954–1970, 1978–1982, 1990–
 Bangladesh 1978, 1990–
 Barbados 1954–1982, 1990–
 Belize4 1978, 1994–
 Bermuda 1930–1938, 1954–1982, 1990–
 Botswana 1974, 1982–
 British Guiana3 1930–1938, 1954–1962
 British Honduras4 1962–1966
 British Virgin Islands 1990–
 Brunei Darussalam 1990–
 Cameroon 1998–
 Canada 1911–
 Cayman Islands 1978–
 Ceylon5 1938–1950, 1958–1970
 Cook Islands 1974–1978, 1986–
 Cyprus 1978–1982, 1990–
 Dominica 1958–1962, 1970, 1994–
 England 1930–
 Falkland Islands 1982–
 Fiji6 1938, 1954–1986, 1998–2006, 2014–
 Gambia7 1970–1982, 1990–2010
 Ghana8 1958–1982, 1990–
 Gibraltar 1958–
 Gold Coast8 1954
 Grenada 1970–1982, 1998–
 Guernsey9 1970–
 Guyana3 1966–1970, 1978–1982, 1990–
 Hong Kong10 1934, 1954–1962, 1970–1994
 India 1934–1938, 1954–1958, 1966–1982, 1990–
Ireland11 12 1930
 Irish Free State11 1934
 Isle of Man 1958–
 Jamaica 1934, 1954–1982, 1990–
 Jersey9 1958–
 Kenya 1954–1982, 1990–
 Kiribati 1998–
 Lesotho 1974–
 Malawi13 1970–
 Malaya14 1950, 1958–1962
 Malaysia 1966–1982, 1990–
 Maldives15 1986–2014
 Malta 1958–1962, 1970, 1982–
Nation Years participated
 Mauritius 1958–1982, 1990–
 Montserrat 1994–
 Mozambique 1998–
 Namibia 1994–
 Nauru 1990–
 Newfoundland16 1930–1934
 New Zealand 1930–
 Nigeria 1950–1958, 1966–1974, 1982, 1990–1994, 2002–
 Niue 2002–
 Norfolk Island 1986–
 North Borneo14 1958–1962
 Northern Ireland11 17 1934–1938, 1954–
 Northern Rhodesia19 1954–1958
 Pakistan 1954–1970, 1990–
 Papua New Guinea 1962–1982, 1990–
 Rhodesia and Nyasaland18 1962
 Rwanda 2010–
 Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla2 1978
 Saint Helena20 1982, 1998–
 Saint Kitts and Nevis2 1990–
 Saint Lucia5 1962, 1970, 1978, 1994–
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1958, 1966–1978, 1994–
 Samoa21 1998–
 Sarawak14 1958–1962
 Scotland 1930–
 Seychelles 1990–
 Sierra Leone 1958, 1966–1970, 1978, 1990–
 Singapore14 1958–
 Solomon Islands 1982, 1990–
 South Africa 1911–1958, 1994–
 South Arabia1 1966
 Southern Rhodesia19 1934–1958
 Sri Lanka 1974–1982, 1990–
 Swaziland 1970–
 Tanganyika22 1962
 Tanzania 1966–1982, 1990–
 Tonga 1974, 1982, 1990–
 Trinidad and Tobago 1934–1982, 1990–
 Turks and Caicos Islands 1978, 1998–
 Tuvalu 2002–
 Uganda 1954–1974, 1982, 1990–
 United Kingdom 1911
 Vanuatu 1982–
 Wales 1930–
 Western Samoa21 1974–1994
 Zambia13 1970–1982, 1990–
 Zimbabwe13 23 1982, 1990–2002
  1. ^ Aden later joined South Arabia in 1963 and departed the Commonwealth in 1968.
  2. ^ Anguilla was completely separated from Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla in 1980 and remaining Saint Kitts and Nevis became independent from the United Kingdom in 1983.
  3. ^ British Guiana was renamed Guyana in 1966.
  4. ^ British Honduras was renamed Belize in 1973.
  5. ^ Ceylon was renamed Sri Lanka in 1972.
  6. ^ Fiji was re-suspended from the Commonwealth and Games in 2009.[36] Fiji's suspension from the Commonwealth was lifted in time for the 2014 Games following democratic elections in March, 2014.
  7. ^ Gambia withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2013.
  8. ^ Gold Coast (British colony) was renamed Ghana in 1957.
  9. ^ Including neighbouring Islands.
  10. ^ Hong Kong was never a Commonwealth member but was a territory of a Commonwealth country; it ceased to be in the Commonwealth when the territory was handed over to China in 1997.
  11. ^ Ireland was represented as a team from the whole of the island in 1930, and from both parts, the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland in 1934. The Irish Free State was renamed Ireland in 1937 (but also known by its name in Irish Éire), did not participate in the 1938 Games, and was formally excluded from the Commonwealth when it declared that it was a Republic on 18 April 1949.
  12. ^ Contemporary illustrations show Green Flag used for the Irish team.
  13. ^ Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe competed in 1962 as part of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
  14. ^ Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore federated as Malaysia in 1963. Singapore left the federation in 1965.
  15. ^ Maldives withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2016.
  16. ^ Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.
  17. ^ The Ulster Banner was the flag of the former Government of Northern Ireland only between 1953 and 1972, but the flag has been regarded as flag of Northern Ireland since 1924 among unionists and loyalists.The Ulster Banner is the sporting flag of Northern Ireland in other events as the FIFA World Cup and in the FIVB Volleyball World Championship.
  18. ^ Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia federated with Nyasaland in 1953 as Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which dissolved at the end of 1963.
  19. ^ Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia competed separately in 1954 and 1958 while both were part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
  20. ^ Under the name of "Saint Helena" in the Commonwealth Games.[37] Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha were dependencies of Saint Helena, so the territory was officially called "Saint Helena and Dependencies" until 2009. Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha became equal parts of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha in 2009.
  21. ^ Western Samoa was renamed Samoa in 1997.
  22. ^ Zanzibar and Tanganyika federated to form Tanzania in 1964.
  23. ^ Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003.

Commonwealth nations/dependencies/disputed territories yet to send teams

Very few Commonwealth dependencies and nations have yet to take part:[38]

Notable competitors

Lawn bowler Willie Wood from Scotland was the first competitor to have competed in seven Commonwealth Games, from 1974 to 2002, a record equalled in 2014 by Isle of Man cyclist Andrew Roche.[40] Also, Greg Yelavich, a sports shooter from New Zealand, has won 12 medals in seven games from 1986 to 2010. Lawn Bowler Robert Weale, has represented Wales in 8 Commonwealth Games, 1986 - 2014, winning Gold x2, Silver x3, Bronze x 1. Aiming for selection for 9th Games in 2018.

Nauruan weightlifter Marcus Stephen won twelve medals at the Games between 1990 and 2002, of which seven gold, and was elected President of Nauru in 2007. His performance has helped place Nauru (the smallest independent state in the Commonwealth, at 21 km2 and with a population of fewer than 9,400 in 2011) in nineteenth place on the all-time Commonwealth Games medal table.

See also


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