2002 Commonwealth Games

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17th Commonwealth Games
2002 Commonwealth Games logo.svg
Host cityManchester, England, United Kingdom
MottoThe Spirit of Friendship[1]
Nations participating72[2]
Athletes participating3,863
Events14 individual and
3 team sports
Opening ceremony25 July 2002
Closing ceremony4 August 2002
Officially opened byElizabeth II
Athlete's OathJames Hickman
Queen's Baton Final RunnerDavid Beckham and
Kirsty Howard
Main venueCity of Manchester Stadium
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17th Commonwealth Games
2002 Commonwealth Games logo.svg
Host cityManchester, England, United Kingdom
MottoThe Spirit of Friendship[1]
Nations participating72[2]
Athletes participating3,863
Events14 individual and
3 team sports
Opening ceremony25 July 2002
Closing ceremony4 August 2002
Officially opened byElizabeth II
Athlete's OathJames Hickman
Queen's Baton Final RunnerDavid Beckham and
Kirsty Howard
Main venueCity of Manchester Stadium

The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in Manchester, England, United Kingdom, from 25 July to 4 August 2002. The XVII Commonwealth Games was, prior the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the UK, eclipsing previous editions held in London in 1934, Cardiff in 1958, Edinburgh in 1970 and 1986 and also London's 1948 Summer Olympics in numbers of teams and athletes participating.[3] Manchester aimed to host a major sporting event, but failed in two previous attempts to host the Olympic Games of 1996 and 2000.[4] The 2002 Games were to be hosted in the United Kingdom to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, and Manchester was selected for the 2002 Games ahead of London.[5]

The Games were considered a success for the host city, providing an event to showcase the transformation of Manchester following the 1996 bombing.[6] The Games formed the catalyst for the widespread regeneration and heavy development of Manchester, and bolstered its reputation as a European and global city internationally. Rapid economic development and continued urban regeneration of the now post-industrial Manchester continued after the Games which helped cement its place as one of the principal cultural cities in the United Kingdom.

The opening and closing ceremonies, the athletic and the rugby sevens events were held at the City of Manchester Stadium, which was purpose built for the Games. Unusually for a large multi-sport event – the second largest competition by number of countries and athletes participating – the shooting events were held in the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, some 200 miles (322 km) from the main focus of the Games in Manchester. Seventy-two nations competed in 14 individual sports and 3 team sports events.

Sporting legacy includes the British Cycling team who inherited the Manchester Velodrome and went on to win eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics and another eight gold medals at the 2012 Olympics, partly attributed to the availability of the velodrome. Manchester City F.C. inherited the City of Manchester Stadium, and as a result, have since found themselves in a desirable investment opportunity in age of foreign football investment. The club was taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group led by Sheikh Mansour in 2008, without the stadium, a takeover would have been far less certain.[7][8] The club are now much more successful, which has heightened their rivalry with Manchester United, and subsequently drawn yet more attention to the city. The legacy of the Games quickly encouraged and inspired the future London bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics with London going on to win the bid on 6 July 2005 and the games were successfully staged seven years later.[9]


Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay[edit]

The 2002 Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay, the continuation of a tradition that started with the 1958 Games, consisted of the relay of an electronic baton, containing a personal message from Elizabeth II across 23 Commonwealth nations. The relay culminated in the arrival of the baton at the City of Manchester Stadium, opening the Games. The speech was then removed electronically from the baton, and read by Her Majesty to open the Games.[10]

The 2002 Baton itself was designed by a company called IDEO, and was constructed of machined aluminium with the handle plated for conductivity. It weighed 1.69 kg, reached over 710 mm, and was 42.5 mm to 85 mm in diameter. The Queen's message itself was held in an aluminium capsule inserted into the top of the Baton. On either side of the Baton were two sterling silver coins, designed by Mappin and Webb, which celebrated the City of Manchester as host of the XVII Commonwealth Games.

The Baton was also equipped with sensors that detected and monitored the Runner's pulse rate. This information was then conveyed to a series of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), via a light behaviour module. The lens then transformed the LEDs into a shaft of bright blue pulsating light which synchronised with each new Runner. The hearts of the Runner and the Baton then beat as one until it was passed on, symbolising the journey of humanity and the essence of life.

The Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay passed through over 500 cities, towns and villages across the UK and the Baton was carried by 5,000 individuals, with each Runner carrying the Baton up to 500 yards, however on Saturday 15 June, the baton was snatched from a runners hand in the town of Connah's Quay, Deeside in north Wales.

The UK Baton Runners were made up of people from all walks of life including athletes, celebrities and local heroes from all over the country. Around 2500 Jubilee Runners were nominated by the community to carry the Baton, because they made a special contribution to their community or achieved a personal goal against the odds.

The judging of the Jubilee Runners was conducted by a panel of judges under the supervision of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in January 2002. The relay was sponsored by Cadbury Schweppes, a major UK confectionery and soft drinks manufacturer.

Cultureshock and Festival Live[edit]

Cultureshock was the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme which ran alongside the Games themselves. The events ranged from images of the athlete as hero in sculpture and photography (Go! Freeze, which ran at Turton Tower in Bolton) to a Zulu performance at The Lowry. There was an exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery called Tales of Power: West African Textiles, and a performance of the film Monsoon Wedding at Clwyd Theatr Cymru. The geographical range was from Cheshire in the south to Blackburn and Cumbria in the north, and included that year the various Melas that take place around the region.

Cultureshock also ensured that a wide range of cultural events and acts reached the "man on the street", with the city centre of Manchester filled with bands, performers, and artists of various forms entertaining the thousands of visitors to the Games. It also coincided with the BBC's 2002 Festival Live series of open air concerts and celebrations around the country, held to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. Many of the cultural events were covered by the BBC 2002 radio station covering the games.


Countries that competed

There were the maximum of 17 sports included in the schedule for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

SportVenueNumber of medal events
AquaticsManchester Aquatics Centre50
AthleticsCity of Manchester Stadium46
BadmintonBolton Arena5
BoxingWythenshawe Forum, Manchester Arena12
CyclingManchester Velodrome (track events), Rivington (road races)17
GymnasticsManchester Central Convention Complex15
HockeyBelle Vue Complex2
JudoManchester Central Convention Complex14
Lawn bowlsHeaton Park6
NetballManchester Arena1
Rugby SevensCity of Manchester Stadium1
ShootingBisley Shooting Centre40
SquashNational Squash Centre5
Table tennisTable Tennis Centre, Sportcity8
TriathlonSalford Quays2
WeightliftingManchester Central Convention Complex46
WrestlingManchester Central Convention Complex7

After experimenting with it on a smaller scale at the 1994 Commonwealth Games and dropping it at the 1998 Games, disabled competitions were held in swimming, athletics, bowls, table tennis and weightlifting (powerlifting). The medals were added to the final tally for each nation.


The Games' main venue was the City of Manchester Stadium (now Etihad Stadium), which hosted all athletics events, the rugby sevens and the opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium was a downscaled version of that proposed during Manchester's bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Construction started in January 2000,[11] and was completed shortly before the Games. The cost was approximately £110 million, £77 million of which was provided by Sport England, with the remainder funded by Manchester City Council.[12] For the Commonwealth Games the stadium featured a single lower tier running around three sides of the athletics track, and second tiers to the two sides, with an open-air temporary stand at one end, giving an overall capacity of 41,000.[13] The stadium formed the centrepiece of an area known as Sportcity. Other venues in Sportcity include the Manchester Velodrome, which hosted cycling, and the £3.5m National Squash Centre, which was built specifically for the Games.[14]

Swimming and diving events took place at Manchester Aquatics Centre, another purpose-built venue, and the only one in the United Kingdom with two 50m pools.[15]

The shooting events were held at the National Shooting Centre, Bisley (located in Surrey). The NSC saw major redevelopment of all its ranges in order to host the fullbore rifle, smallbore rifle, pistol and clay target events.


Numerous companies ranging from international to local, sponsored the 2002 Games.[16][17] International sponsors included Microsoft and Xerox and also companies with local links to Manchester including Guardian Media Group, PZ Cussons and United Utilities.


Template:2002 Commonwealth Games Calendar

Participating countries[edit]

There were 72 participating countries, territories, and Commonwealth regions at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. In alphabetical order, these included:

Participating Commonwealth Countries & Territories

Opening ceremony[edit]

The Opening Ceremony was produced by Jack Morton Worldwide. David Zolkwer was the Project & Artistic Director, Julie Brooks was Executive Producer.

Five-time Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave opened the two-and-a-quarter-hour opening ceremony by banging a large drum, which initiated a co-ordinated dance and fireworks act. The champion rower was joined on the stage by sporting stars including yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, heptathlete Denise Lewis, long-distance runner Moses Kiptanui, swimmer Susie O'Neill and sprinter Donovan Bailey. The Grenadier Guards shared the arena with pop band S Club and Salford-born opera singer Russell Watson sang the Games' theme, "Faith of the Heart", while the arrival of HM The Queen was greeted with a flypast by the Red Arrows. England football captain David Beckham helped chaperone Queen's Baton final runner Kirsty Howard, assisting the terminally ill six-year-old to hand the baton to The Queen. A 4,000-strong cast took part in the £12m spectacular, which in theme and tone consisted of a mix of "pomp and pop", combining the ceremonial aspects of the Games with a party-style atmosphere, based on Manchester's reputation as the party city of "Madchester". The ceremony was voiced by broadcaster Anthony Davis.

The traditional athletes' parade was led by previous hosts Malaysia, and England brought up the rear before The Queen as the Head of the Commonwealth, declared the Games open:

"All of us participating in this ceremony tonight, whether athletes or spectators, or those watching on television around the world, can share in the ideals of this unique association of nations,"

"We can all draw inspiration from what the Commonwealth stands for, our diversity as a source of strength, our tradition of tolerance ... our focus on young people, for they are our future."

Closing ceremony[edit]

The Closing Ceremony was produced by Jack Morton Worldwide. David Zolkwer was the Project & Creative Director, Julie Brooks was the Executive Producer and Nigel Jameson was Artistic Director.

The Queen ended 11 days of competition at a rain-drenched closing ceremony in the City of Manchester Stadium. She declared the Games closed in front of a 38,000 sell-out crowd gathered in the stadium. She also called on the athletes to assemble again in four years in Melbourne and to continue displaying the "friendship" they had shown in Manchester. The ceremony, attended by Prime Minister Tony Blair and several other dignitaries, took place in pouring rain and like the opening ceremony, mixed "pomp with pop". Australian Ian Thorpe, the star of the Games with his six swimming golds, carried his national flag into the arena, along with athletes from each of the other competing countries. Around 40,000 balloons were released into the rainy Manchester sky as the ceremony concluded with a spectacular fireworks display.

Closing ceremony highlights included:[19]



Legacy host city and nation[edit]

In terms of infrastructure, the Games were the catalyst for the widespread redevelopment of the east of the city, an area which had remained derelict since the departure of heavy industry some decades before. To many, these Commonwealth Games are the benchmark for the new era in CWG hosting and for cities wishing to bid for them. The venue and financial policy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games has influenced future sporting events, including the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The cost of hosting the 2002 Commonwealth Games was estimated at approximately £300 million.[24] Prior to the games, a £100 million was required to fill a financial black hole and the government agreed to provide the funding required,[25] despite some believing that £300 million was too much.[26] In comparison to other sporting events, the 2002 games were marked by financial discipline. The cost of the 2010 Commonwealth Games were estimated at $4.1 billion,[27] the London 2012 Summer Olympics are estimated to cost £9 billion, while the 2014 Commonwealth Games could cost as much as £500 million.[28]

Sporting legacy included the City of Manchester Stadium which was turned over to Manchester City Football Club, to replace the ageing Maine Road. It is possible that this provided an incentive which led to the eventual 2008 take over by the Abu Dhabi United group led by Sheikh Mansour. Consequently they have seen a considerable upturn in their success, with a series of transfers which has increased the profile of Manchester further, as Manchester City have become title challengers. Indeed, journalists have stated Mansour would not had bought the City had the club not had the 50,000 stadium. The Manchester Velodrome was built in 1994 in preparation for an Olympic bid, but subsequently hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Since opening in 1994, it has been cited as a catalyst for Britain's successes in track cycling since 2002.[29][30] At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Great British cycling claimed 8 of the 18 gold medals on offer, including 14 of the 54 medals available altogether. This unprecedented achievement was partly attributed the availability of a velodrome.

Local communities benefited from facilities built for the game such as the Manchester Aquatics Centre, the Northern Regional Tennis Centre and the National Squash Centre. There were comprehensive upgrades of Belle Vue and Moss Side leisure centres serve their local communities.

Olympic president Jacques Rogge said the Games had gone a long way to restoring Britain's credibility in terms of hosting big sporting events.[31] It has since been said that the success of the games was a major factor in reassuring the UK's sporting authorities and the government that the country could successfully stage major successful international sporting events and that, without them, London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics would not have come about.[32][33] Public houses and restaurants in Manchester reported a threefold increase in takings during the Games, and local tourism board Marketing Manchester estimate some 300,000 more visitors will come to the city each year as a result of its increased profile.[19] It is estimated that by 2008 £600m has been invested in the region as a result of the Games and that about 20,000 jobs had been created.[34]

Final medal table[edit]

  Host nation (England)
1 Australia826263207
2 England545160165
3 Canada314144116
4 India30221769
5 New Zealand11132145
6 South Africa9201746
7 Cameroon91212
8 Malaysia791834
9 Wales6131231
10 Scotland681630
11 Nigeria531119
12 Kenya48416
13 Jamaica46717
14 Singapore42713
15 Bahamas4048
16 Nauru25815
17 Northern Ireland2215
18 Cyprus2114
19 Pakistan1348
20 Fiji1113
20 Zambia1113
22 Zimbabwe1102
23 Namibia1045
24 Tanzania1012
25 Bangladesh1001
25 Guyana1001
25 Mozambique1001
25 Saint Kitts and Nevis1001
29 Botswana0213
30 Uganda0202
31 Samoa0123
32 Trinidad and Tobago0101
33 Barbados0011
33 Cayman Islands0011
33 Ghana0011
33 Lesotho0011
33 Malta0011
33 Mauritius0011
33 Saint Lucia0011


  1. ^ "Spirit of Friendship Festival". Manchester 2002 Ltd. Summer 2002. Archived from the original on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  2. ^ The four Home Nations of the United Kingdom — England, 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, and Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia, also compete separately. There are thus 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, but 72 competing teams at the Commonwealth Games.
  3. ^ Hubbard, Alan (12 December 1999). "City of Manchester Stadium: The Wembley rescuers". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  4. ^ Cook, I. R. and Ward, K. (2011) Trans-urban networks of learning, mega-events and policy tourism: The case of Manchester's Commonwealth and Olympic Games projects, Urban Studies 48 (12), 2519–2535
  5. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (3 February 1994). "Commonwealth Games: Manchester celebrates capital conquest: London loses out to Olympic rival in fight for the right to present England's bid". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  6. ^ Schaffer, David (23 July 2002). "Golden future for Games city". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  7. ^ Hayward, Paul (11 November 2010). "Sheikh Mansour needs his money to be spent on flair not caution". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  8. ^ Conn, David (8 October 2008). "Abu Dhabi empire building reaches east Manchester". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  9. ^ "Can Britain stage the Olympics?". BBC News. 5 August 2002. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  10. ^ Southport & Mersey Reporter Speeches from the Closing of the Commonwealth Games 2002.
  11. ^ "City of Manchester Stadium". Centre for Accessible Environments. Archived from the original on 19 July 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2006. 
  12. ^ "City of Manchester Stadium". Commonwealth Games Legacy. Archived from the original on 3 January 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2006. 
  13. ^ Taylor, David (16 May 2002). "a question of sport". The Architects Journal. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "National Squash Centre". BBC. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  15. ^ "Venue Guide: Manchester Aquatics Centre". BBC. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  16. ^ "Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games Official Sponsors". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  17. ^ "Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games Official Partners". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  18. ^ Day, Julia (2 April 2001). "Microsoft to sponsor 2002 Commonwealth Games". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  19. ^ a b "Manchester games hailed a success" (http). Commonwealth Games 2002 (BBC Sport). 3 August 2002. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  20. ^ Anon (4 August 2002). "Du Toit voted top athlete". BBC sport (BBC). Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  21. ^ Anon (2 August 2002). "Thorpe's six of the best". BBC. pp. BBC sport. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  22. ^ Anon (31 July 2002). "Baker charges to gold". BBC sport (BBC). Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  23. ^ Anon (28 July 2002). "Radcliffe roars to elusive gold". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  24. ^ "Commonwealth Games: Corruption, chaos & a race to avert a crisis". The Independent. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  25. ^ Hetherington, Peter (2 July 2001). "Manchester gets £100m lifeline to fund games". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  26. ^ Chaudhary, Vivek (25 July 2001). "Why Manchester may rue the day it won the Commonwealth Games". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  27. ^ Magnay, Jacquelin (5 August 2011). "Commonwealth Games 2010 costs ballooned to over $4bn". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  28. ^ Johnson, Simon (15 November 2009). "Alex Salmond told to explain £80 million Commonwealth Games budget 'black hole'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  29. ^ Andrews, Guy (1 April 2008). "How did Britain get so good at cycling?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-07-13. "As well as bringing in the finest equipment and the best coaches available, British Cycling based everything on one oval track in Manchester, built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games." 
  30. ^ "British pedal power or Queally over-rated?". BBC News. 20 September 2000. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  31. ^ "Rogge rules out joint Olympic bid" (http). Commonwealth Games 2002 (BBC Sport). 3 August 2002. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 
  32. ^ "London 2012 Olympics" (http). politics.co.uk. 24 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  33. ^ "England's Northwest set to reap rewards of 2012" (http). Liverpool is European capital of culture. North west Development Agency. 13 January 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  34. ^ "London 2012- what's in it for us?" (http). Inside Out North West. BBC. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kuala Lumpur
Commonwealth Games
XVII Commonwealth Games
Succeeded by