2006 Commonwealth Games

Last updated

XVIII Commonwealth Games
2006 Commonwealth Games Logo.svg
Host city Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
MottoUnited by the moment
Nations participating71 [1]
Athletes participating4071 [2]
Events245 in 17 sports
Opening ceremony15 March
Closing ceremony26 March
Officially opened by Elizabeth II
Officially closed by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Athlete's Oath Adam Pine
Queen's Baton Final Runner John Landy
Main venue Melbourne Cricket Ground
  XVII
XIX  

The 2006 Commonwealth Games, officially the XVIII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Melbourne 2006, was an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 15 and 26 March 2006. It was the fourth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games. It was also the largest sporting event to be staged in Melbourne, eclipsing the 1956 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events being held.

Contents

More than 4,000 athletes from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations took part in the event. [3] Zimbabwe withdrew its membership from the Commonwealth of Nations and Commonwealth Games Federation on 8 December 2003 and so did not participate in the event. [4] With 245 sets of medals, the games featured 17 Commonwealth sports. These sporting events took place at 13 venues in the host city, two venues in Bendigo and one venue each in Ballarat, Geelong, Lysterfield Park and Traralgon. [5]

The site for the opening and closing ceremonies was the Melbourne Cricket Ground which was also used during 1956 Summer Olympics. [6] The mascot for the games was Karak, a red-tailed black cockatoo (a threatened species). [7] The official song of the games, "Together We Are One", was composed by the ARIA awardee Australian recording artist Delta Goodrem. During the closing ceremony of the games, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Mike Fennell declared to the crowd "Melbourne, you are simply the best". [8]

For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth 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). The relay ended when the Governor of Victoria, and former Commonwealth Games medallist, John Landy delivered the baton to Her Majesty the Queen at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the opening ceremony. [9]

The host nation Australia topped the medal table for the fifth time in the past five Commonwealth Games, winning the most golds (84) and most medals overall (221). England and Canada finished second and third respectively. [10]

Host selection

Melbourne was selected by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association as the official bid city from Australia for the 2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne CBD 2008.jpg
Melbourne was selected by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association as the official bid city from Australia for the 2006 Commonwealth Games

During the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, two cities initially expressed interest in hosting the event; Melbourne, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand. [11] Wellington withdrew its bid, citing the costs involved with matching the bid plan presented by Melbourne, which became the default host without members of the Federation going to vote. [12] [13] [14]

2006 Commonwealth Games bidding results
CityNationVotes
Melbourne Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Unanimous

Preparation and development

Melbourne Cricket Ground Mcg melb.JPG
Melbourne Cricket Ground

Venues

The following venues were used at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The sport(s) that were played at that venue are listed after it. [5]

Melbourne venues

Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre Olympic Swimming Pool.JPG
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre MelbourneExhibitionCentre.jpg
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Multi Purpose Venue (Melbourne Park) The HiSense Arena (6760312239).jpg
Multi Purpose Venue (Melbourne Park)

Regional and suburban venues

Ballarat
Ballarat Minerdome: Basketball
Bendigo
Bendigo Stadium: Basketball
Wellsford Rifle Range: Full Bore Shooting
Geelong
Geelong Arena: Basketball
Lysterfield Park
State Mountain Bike Course: Mountain Bike Cycling
Traralgon
Traralgon Sports Stadium: Basketball

Cost

Early concerns arose about the large cost of staging the Games, with projected costs likely to be over AUD 1 billion and a high likelihood the Victorian taxpayer would have to cover the expense. The cost was described in some local media as excessive. National Party leader Peter Ryan said that the Labor government should win "gold (medal) for burning money". [15] However, not all of this money was wasted. The actual costs for hosting the games was AUD 1.144 billion and prior to the Games, accountants at KPMG were estimating that the gross income generated by this event could be as high as AUD 1.5 billion.

Development

Melbourne's premier sporting ground, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), was redeveloped in preparation for the Games. An athlete's village in the inner suburb of Parkville housed approximately 7,000 athletes and support staff during the Games, and has been transformed into commercial housing with a distinctly eco-friendly image. The creation of this village attracted controversy, with critics claiming it was created by alienating public parkland, while proponents maintained that it represented the renewal of an otherwise derelict inner-city area. [16]

The change from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time in Australian states that follow it was delayed from 26 March to 2 April for 2006 to avoid affecting the games. In addition, state and private schools amended their usual term times so as to allow the first term holidays to coincide with the Games. [17]

Melbourne's public transport system – train, tram and bus – ran to altered timetables with some amended or substituted services for the duration of the Games. For the most part, timetabled services were unchanged but suffered due to higher loads. [18]

For the first time ever, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games appointed a Goodwill Partner, Plan International Australia. [19]

Participating teams

There were 71 countries, territories and bodies competing at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. [20] The only difference between the 2006 games and the 2002 games was the absence of Zimbabwe, which withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.

Countries and places competing at the games Commonwealth games 2006 countries map.PNG
Countries and places competing at the games
Participating Commonwealth countries and territories

Calendar

OCOpening ceremonyEvent competitions1Gold medal eventsCCClosing ceremony
March15th
Wed
16th
Thu
17th
Fri
18th
Sat
19th
Sun
20th
Mon
21st
Tue
22nd
Wed
23rd
Thu
24th
Fri
25th
Sat
26th
Sun
Events
CeremoniesOCCC
Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics 31066891153
Badminton pictogram.svg Badminton 156
Basketball pictogram.svg Basketball 112
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 1111
Cycling (road) pictogram.svg Cycling 333322218
Diving pictogram.svg Diving 323210
Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg Gymnastics 1125511424
Field hockey pictogram.svg Field hockey 22
Netball pictogram.svg Netball 11
Rugby sevens pictogram.svg Rugby sevens 11
Shooting pictogram.svg Shooting 64654553240
Squash pictogram.svg Squash 235
Swimming pictogram.svg Swimming 559511742
Synchronized swimming pictogram.svg Synchronised swimming 22
Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis 2226
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 22222221116
Daily medal Events1118202139261719192917245
Cumulative total11294970109135152171190219245
March15th
Wed
16th
Thu
17th
Fri
18th
Sat
19th
Sun
20th
Mon
21st
Tue
22nd
Wed
23rd
Thu
24tg
Fri
25th
Sat
26th
Sun
Events

Sports

Melbourne Cricket Ground during the Games MSC, 2006 Commonwealth Games.jpg
Melbourne Cricket Ground during the Games

The 2006 Commonwealth Games included 17 sports, with 12 individual sports and 4 team sports. In total there are 245 events at the Games.

Opening ceremony

Fireworks at the Yarra River during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games Yarra River Fireworks.jpeg
Fireworks at the Yarra River during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games

Both the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Yarra River were centrepieces for the ceremony, which included many fireworks, and other spectacle. The Games were opened by Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen is also Head of State of a number of Commonwealth countries. [21]

Closing ceremony

Both the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Yarra River were again centrepieces for the ceremony. Samresh Jung of India was given the David Dixon Award at the closing ceremony. He was the "Best Athlete of the 18th Commonwealth Games". The games were closed by The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward.

Medal table

Leisel Jones won four gold medals in the swimming competition, sweeping the breaststroke events and the medley relay. 2008 Australian Olympic team Leisel Jones - Sarah Ewart.jpg
Leisel Jones won four gold medals in the swimming competition, sweeping the breaststroke events and the medley relay.

  *   Host nation (Australia)

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia*846969222
2Flag of England.svg  England 364034110
3Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 26293186
4Flag of India.svg  India 22171150
5Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 12131338
6Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 1171129
7Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica 104822
8Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 7121029
9Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 6121432
10Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 65718
Totals (10 nations)220208208636

Broadcasting

Marketing

The logo of the 2006 Commonwealth Games is an image of 2 figures, which represents sport and culture, achievement and excellence, while the colours green, yellow, and red represents celebratory, fresh and youthfully optimistic character of Melbourne city. The two figures in the logo joined together to form a letter M, which is the initial letter of Melbourne, the games host city. [30]

Mascot

Karak was the mascot for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. He was modelled on a red-tailed black cockatoo, a threatened species within the host country, Australia. [31] [32]

Sponsors

Sponsors of the 2006 Commonwealth Games [33]

Official Partners

Official Sponsors

Official Providers

Qantas Airlines showcasing the logo of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. VH-VYE 'Karak' Boeing 737-838 Qantas sporting the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Livery (9003318564).jpg
Qantas Airlines showcasing the logo of the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Controversies

Missing athletes

On 20 March 2006 it was reported that two athletes had gone missing from the Commonwealth Games village: Tanzanian boxer Omari Idd Kimweri and Bangladeshi runner Mohammad Tawhidul Islam. [34] [35]

On 22 March 2006 it was reported that seven athletes from Sierra Leone (three women and four men) had also disappeared. A further seven Sierra Leonean athletes also went missing during the course of the Games, bringing the total runaway count to fourteen (two-thirds of the team). Victoria Police believed that they had fled to Sydney where the Sierra Leonean community is much larger than Melbourne's.

Two hours before the Closing Ceremony on 26 March, officials from the Cameroon team reported to police that nine of their members had also vanished.

These incidents were not without precedent: 27 athletes similarly disappeared from the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England (21 from Sierra Leone, 5 from Bangladesh and one from Pakistan), and over 80 athletes and officials overstayed their visas after the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. [36]

On request of Sierra Leone officials, the Commonwealth Games Federation cancelled those athletes' Games accreditation, allowing the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) to cancel their visas at midnight on 27 March, and begin investigating their disappearance. At 7.20 am on that day, New South Wales Police located six of the Sierra Leonean athletes in a house at Freshwater near Manly Beach in Sydney. All six indicated they wished to seek political asylum in Australia, and were granted bridging visas by DIMA while their refugee applications were arranged. The athletes claimed to have been subjected to violence and torture in their home country; seventeen-year-old Isha Conteh stated she could be forced into female genital cutting if she returned. [37] On Tuesday 28 March, six further Sierra Leoneans turned themselves in to immigration authorities in Sydney and were also granted bridging visas. [38]

Two of the missing Cameroonian athletes were later found in Perth, Western Australia.

The Stolenwealth Games

The Stolenwealth Games were protests at the 1982 and 2006 Commonwealth Games. People were protesting because they believed that the Commonwealth Games lead to the erasure of indigenous people. [39] [40] There were also problems with land rights. These protests lead to the creation of the Global Indigenous Games.

See also

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{{Infobox_Stadium {{DISPLAYTITLE:Bendigo Stadium}} | stadium_name = Bendigo Stadium | nickname = | image = | location = Marong Road, [[Bendigo]], [[Victoria (Australia)|Victoria]] | coordinates = {{coord|36|45|30|S|144|14|57|E|display=it}} | broke_ground = | opened = | closed = | demolished = | owner = | operator = | surface = | construction_cost = | architect = | former_names = | tenants = [[Bendigo Braves]] ([[NBL1]])<br/>[[Bendigo Spirit]] <br/>[[Australian Goldfields Open]]<br/>[[Collingwood Magpies Netball|Collingwood Magpies]] <small>([[Suncorp Super Netball|NNL]]) (2019-present)</small><br/>Bendigo Volleyball Association 1994 to present | seating_capacity = 4,000<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.austadiums.com/stadiums/stadiums.php?id=263|title=Bendigo Stadium|work=Austadiums}}</ref> |}}

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References

  1. The four Home Nations of the United KingdomEngland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — send separate teams to the Commonwealth Games, as do the three Crown DependenciesJersey, the Isle of Man and Guernsey — and 9 of the 14 British Overseas Territories. The Cook Islands and Niue, non-sovereign territories in free association with New Zealand also compete separately. There are thus 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, but 71 competing teams at the Commonwealth Games.
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Preceded by
Manchester
Commonwealth Games
Melbourne
XVIII Commonwealth Games
Succeeded by
Delhi