As of today – the first of January, 2017 there are only 458 days until the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Come the 4th April, 2018 over 6,600 athletes and officials from 70 nations and territories will converge on Queensland for over ten days of competition. The Commonwealth Games are held every four years in between the Olympic Games. This will be the 21st Commonwealth Games.
This event is a huge win for the Gold Coast and Gold Coast tourism. It will be the largest sporting event ever hosted here. Late last year I attended a short presentation on the status of preparations for the games. Everyone involved in organising the Games are working really hard to ensure there success.
SOME FACTS AND FIGURES
- Athletes will compete in 18 sports and 7 para-sports
- 1.5 million spectators are expected to attend
- The global audience is expected to reach 1.5 billion. That’s 1.5 billion people seeing one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations showcased in their living rooms
- Over 15,000 volunteers will ‘work’ at the Games in a variety of areas
- There will be 3000 media personnel in attendance
- Building of the Athletes Village at Parkwood is well under way
- The Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre is being built next to the Carrara Stadium
- The Gold Coast Light Rail system is being extended from Gold Coast University Hospital to Helensvale Train Station
- An indoor sports centre has been built at Coomera. This will be available for use by the local community after the games
- Village Roadshow Studios will host the boxing and badminton
- Coolangatta Beach will be the venue for the Beach Volleyball
- Townsville and Cairns will host the basketball
- Mountain biking events will be held at Nerang Mountain bike trails
- The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre has already been upgraded to host the swimming
THE GAMES MASCOT
A blue Koala called Borobi is the mascot of these Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The name comes from the language of the local Yugambeh Aboriginal people and means ‘koala’. Whilst some people are not a fan, I love him. I think he captures the spirit of the Gold Coast perfectly.
THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
Hosting the Commonwealth Games here in Australia has only occurred four times. Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982 (come on you remember Matilda the winking kangaroo) and Melbourne in 2006. For Queensland to be able to host it a second time is a huge deal. To make these games a success we all need to support the games in whatever way we can. Whether that is by attending them, offering your home for accommodation, working in various capacities or volunteering I think these games are going to be amazing. I would love to be able to attend some of the Track and Field events or even some of the Para events.
If you are thinking of attending I suggest you start planning your trip now. Obviously accommodation will be harder to come by, but as the Gold Coast is so easily accessible you stay in other locations. You can register your interest in tickets by visiting the official Games website.
Do you think you might like to attend the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018?