Sports Incoming: A Beginner’s Guide to the Commonwealth Games

what are the commonwealth games 2022

You’re about to have a whole new reason to look clueless in casual conversation as the Commonwealth Games 2022 are about to kick off.

Like a little mini-Olympics for colonised nations, the Commonwealth Games this year will see around 6,600 athletes from 72 different countries descend on Birmingham, the UK, all vying for a medal in their respective events.

Australia has a strong showing this year. With a total of 434 athletes wearing the green and gold, it’s one of our biggest cohorts yet. We’re competing across all 20 sports and we’re hoping this year Australia will win the 66 medals required to become the first country to break 1000 total medals.

It’s going to be 11 packed days of sporting action which all kicks off on July 28.

What Are the Commonwealth Games?

The Commonwealth Games started life in 1930 as the British Empire Games and, like the Olympics, are played every four years in one of the Commonwealth countries.

Although there are 54 Commonwealth members there are 72 teams competing, made up of dependent territories and other non-sovereign countries that can’t compete in the Olympics. The UK is also sending four teams, England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, to compete separately.

Australia has been at every single Commonwealth Games since the start and we’re basically the undisputed champions of the Games, having won it 13 times before. England follows us, barely, with seven wins.

The Commonwealth Games are also slightly different to the Olympics in that you get some very British sports being played and a focus on events that don’t typically make the list at the international games. Some of the weirder ones are lawn bowls, mountain biking, and various kinds of shooting.

In total, there are just 20 sports played at the Commonwealth Games, including 10 core sports like athletics, boxing, hockey, swimming, and five new ones added for 2022 which are road cycling, judo, table tennis, and wrestling.

The inclusion of para-sports is also more integrated at the Commonwealth Games than at the Olympics and this year, able-bodied athletes will compete at the same time as para-athletes. 3 x 3 wheelchair basketball is being introduced for para-athletes this year as well.

Due to scheduling clashes, it’s also going to be a much more female-dominant games than previous editions or other sporting events. Cricket this year will only be played by women’s teams while there are more events for women than there are men, something that basically never happens in international sport. This, coupled with the focus on para-athletes, will make the 2022 games the most inclusive in history.

The opening ceremony will start on the 28th while the main events begin in the 29th. Pre-Game competitions have already been run, meaning that medal events will start from day one.

Finally, the opening ceremony will be one to catch as it’s going to feature performances from local heroes Duran Duran and legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.

There are going to be 280 medal events in total so, if you find yourself at a loose end over the next couple of weeks, make sure to flick the Commonwealth Games on as there’s bound to be something astounding happening.

Related: You Can Now Grab Limited Edition Commonwealth Games Coins at Woolies

Related: The Commonwealth Games Could Be Cancelled As Apparently No One Cares About Them

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