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  Commonwealth Games history
Updated 16 July 2002, 14.32
Dawn Fraser
One Australia's most famous swimmers, Dawn Fraser

The first Commonwealth Games were held in Canada in 1930. 400 athletes from 11 countries took part in the first Games.

Since then, the Games have taken place every four years except for 1942 and 1946, due to World War II. Sixteen Games have been held in total.

From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, then the British Empire and Commonwealth Games until 1962.

Common language of English at the Games

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.

The Commonwealth Games are the only Games which share 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".

Audley Harrison
Audley Harrison won in Kuala Lumpur
In an effort to keep the Games up to date, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) allowed Kuala Lumpur in 1998 to include team sports for the first time, a decision which proved an big success.

Every four years, the 72 nations of the Commonwealth gather to enjoy the friendship, entertainment and sporting performances that make the Commonwealth Games something that brings all nations within the Commonwealth together.


 

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