Most of us know about the Olympic Games, which the whole world participates in, but have you ever heard of the Commonwealth Games? It is the sporting event for all of the countries—currently or formerly—under the British Empire, and it might surprise you to learn that there are fifty-three such countries! The “Commonwealth of Nations” is an organization consisting of countries that used to be part of British territory. So wait, is the United States a part of the Commonwealth? After all, the US was under British leadership before becoming independent, right? Well, the Commonwealth is entirely voluntary, and the United States does not participate. Check out the countries that are part of the Commonwealth here!
The Commonwealth Games ended on April 15th, and we’re taking a sneak peek at some highlights:
1. Seventy-one teams are participating in the Commonwealth Games even though only fifty-three countries are part of the Commonwealth. This is because some dependent countries wanted to participate under their own flag.
2. There are twenty-six sports that athletes compete in, which is similar to the Olympic events. One key difference? The Paralympics are part of the same event in the Commonwealth Games.
3. This year, eight Cameroon athletes went missing and “deserted” their team—they went into hiding in the host country of Australia because they did not want to return to Cameroon.
4. In terms of gold medal count, the top three contenders so far in the Commonwealth Games are Australia, England, and Canada. This year, Australia won with 198 medals, England scored 138 and Canada went home with 88 medals.
5. The official motto of the Commonwealth Games this year is Share the Dream, and the Borobi, a blue koala, is the official mascot.