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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 February 2006, 09:29 GMT
Commonwealth Games A to Z
The 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne
A - Australian nationality. Irish athlete Sonia O'Sullivan will represent the home nation after changing her nationality in time for the Games.

B - Bronchitis - the condition that has been affecting Ian Thorpe's Games preparations.

C - Cricket and former West Indies fast bowler, Cardigan Connor, who will be team boss of the Anguillan contingent in Melbourne.

D - Drink, or rather the lack of it. The residential part of the athletes' village in Melbourne has been declared alcohol free. Sex, however, is permitted, as long as athletes are "discreet".

E - Eel. Every Commonwealth country competing will be represented by a creature along the Yarra River at the opening ceremony. Australia's creature of choice is a short-finned eel.

F - Father and son competitors for the Cook Islands. Sam Pera Junior and Sam Pera Senior will be competing in the weightlifting, the former in the 94kg, the latter in the 105kg.

G - Gold, of which Australia picked up 82 in Manchester four years ago to top the medal table.

H - History. This is the fourth time the Games have been held in Australia, but the first time in Melbourne.

I - Imprisonment. Cells have been set up at each of the Commonwealth Games venues in Melbourne to deal with rowdy spectators.

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix has a tenuous link to the Commonwealth Games
J - Jimi Hendrix - the idol of England mountain biker Liam Killeen. He revels in jamming along to Hendrix's music in his spare time.

K - Karak the Mascot - a south-eastern red-tailed black cockatoo that's native to Victoria, the state where the Games are being held, and South Australia. According to the Games' official website, his favourite song is "I'm like a bird".

L - Long jump controversy. English hopes in the pit will be headed up by Jade Johnson and Kelly Sotherton, who have been embroiled in a public and lengthy war of words ahead of the Games.

M - Mozambique, the only country at the Commonwealth Games never to have been ruled by Britain at any stage during its history.

N -New York. The home of cop Bradley Taylor, who will swap walking the beat in the city that never sleeps for going for gold for his home nation Anguilla in one of the shooting disciplines.

O - Overcoming disability in the case of Natalie du Toit, who qualified for the final of the 800m freestyle for able-bodied athletes in Manchester. She will again be competing at the Games.

P - People, the Australian fans to be precise. Huge crowds are expected to flock to the Games events with over 70% of tickets already bought. Super Sunday on 19 March, the first day of the athletics competition at the MCG, has sold out.

Q - The Queen, who will be hoping for a better greeting than the one she received from squash star Chris Walker at the 2002 Games. Walker missed his slot to meet Britain's head of state, because he was sitting on the loo.

Her Majesty the Queen
The loo stopped one athlete meeting the Queen in Manchester
R - Religion. Police chaplain Jim Pilmer will lead a team of 45 volunteers providing religious services in the athletes' village. The team will include an imam, Buddhist monks, and Hindu and Sikh leaders.

S - Shellsuits, the not-exactly fetching attire the volunteers in Manchester at the 2002 Games were made to wear.

T - The Thorpedo. Ian Thorpe would have been one of the main attractions of the Games but Australia's sporting hero has been ruled out because of bronchitis and a chest infection.

U - U-turn. Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins had been due to head up England's cycling contingent in Melbourne but instead opted to focus his attentions solely on the Tour de France prologue in July.

V - Victoria - the home state of this year's Commonwealth Games - renowned for its multi-cultural nature, its wildlife and its fine wines.

W - The weather. Melbourne is renowned for being the city that experiences four seasons in one day. So if you're heading down under, be prepared for every possible climate.

X - X-rated behaviour. Four years ago disabled bowler John Dennis, from New Zealand, was sent home from the Games for sexual harassment.

Y - The Yarra river, around which Melbourne was built. The name for the river is thought to originate from an Aboriginal word meaning "ever flowing".

Z - Zambia, the Commonwealth Games country where Australian rugby union captain George Gregan was born.





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