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04 Apr 2018

Prince of Wales opens Commonwealth Games, described "more relevant than ever before"
BY Tom Walker

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the opening ceremony

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the opening ceremony
photo: The Commonwealth Games Federation

The 2018 Commonwealth Games have kicked off on the Gold Coast, Australia, with more than 1.5 billion people tuning in to watch the opening ceremony.

The ceremony took place at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast in front of a stadium audience of more than 35,000.

Held for the 21st time, the Games will run until 15 April and see 4,600 athletes from 71 countries compete across 18 sports.

In her opening ceremony speech, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin said: "Today, there is a renewed focus on what our family of nations stands for and who we are.

"The Commonwealth is now more relevant than ever before. We have a great opportunity to be the global leader in demonstrating how we can successfully thrive together, as both a deeply diverse yet unified family of 2.4 billion people.

"It is this unbreakable Commonwealth connection that enables us to have a positive impact on each other and on the world we share."

The Games were officially declared open by Charles, Prince of Wales.

The opening ceremony also marked the launch of the search for the host of the 2026 and 2030 Games.

During a meeting ahead of the official opening ceremony, all 71 Commonwealth Games Associations were informed of an 18-month-long consultative bidding process, which will take place under the new CGF Partnerships model.

The new system is designed to allow the Commonwealth Sports Movement to capitalise on the Federation's "innovative new Games delivery model", CGF Partnerships (CGFP), which aims to support host nations and cities and enhance the overall value of hosting the Games.

CGF president Martin said: "As we celebrate and support the thousands of Commonwealth athletes here on the Gold Coast, and work hand-in-hand with local and national partners to realise the benefits of the Games on the host community, there is no better reminder of the transformative impact and social foundations of the Commonwealth Sports Movement."

The hosts for the 2026 edition will be named at the next General Assembly in September 2019.



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