The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. As well as many Olympic sports, the Games also include some sports that are played mainly in Commonwealth countries, such as lawn bowls, rugby sevens and netball. The Games are overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), which also controls the sporting programme and selects the host cities. The host city is selected from across the Commonwealth, with eighteen cities in seven countries having hosted it.
The event was first held in 1930 under the title of the British Empire Games in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The event was renamed as the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954, the British Commonwealth Games in 1970, and gained its current title in 1978. Only six teams have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. Australia has been the highest achieving team for eleven games, England for seven and Canada for one.There are currently 54 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and 71 teams participate in the Games.
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The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-three independent member states. All but two (Mozambique and Rwanda) of these countries were formerly part of the British Empire, out of which it developed.
The member states cooperate within a framework of common values and goals as outlined in the Singapore Declaration. These include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace. The Commonwealth is not a political union, but an intergovernmental organisation through which countries with diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status.
Its activities are carried out through the permanent Commonwealth Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General, and biennial meetings between Commonwealth Heads of Government. The symbol of their free association is the Head of the Commonwealth, which is a ceremonial position currently held by Queen Elizabeth II. Elizabeth II is also monarch, separately and independently, of sixteen Commonwealth members, which are known as the "Commonwealth realms".
The Commonwealth is a forum for a number of non-governmental organisations, collectively known as the Commonwealth Family, which are fostered through the intergovernmental Commonwealth Foundation. The Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth's most visible activity, are a product of one of these organisations. These organisations strengthen the shared culture of the Commonwealth, which extends through common sports, literary heritage, and political and legal practices. Due to this, Commonwealth countries are not considered to be "foreign" to one another. Reflecting this, diplomatic missions between Commonwealth countries are designated as High Commissions rather than embassies.
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Vijender Singh Beniwal
: विजेन्द्र सिंह बेनीवाल
) (born October 29, 1985) (also known as Vijender Singh
or Vijender Beniwal
) is an Olympic Medalist Indian boxer
from Kalwas, Bhiwani district
. He belongs to a family of Jat
ethnicity. Vijender’s early days were spent in his village where he did his schooling, after which he received a bachelor’s degree from a local college in Bhiwani. He practiced boxing at the Bhiwani Boxing Club
where coach Jagdish Singh
recognized his talent and encouraged him to take to professional boxing.
Vijender went on to compete at the sub-junior nationals where he won a silver medal for two years in succession. Having won medals in different competitions at the national level, Vijender was picked to train and compete at several international level competitions such as the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. At the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, he won the bronze medal after losing the semifinal bout against Kazakhstan's Bakhtiyar Artayev. At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, he defeated Carlos Góngora of Ecuador 9–4 in the quarterfinals which guaranteed him a bronze medal—the first ever Olympic medal for an Indian boxer.
After this historic win, Vijender was given a number of awards, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award—India's highest sporting honour. In 2009, he participated at the World Amateur Boxing Championships where he won the bronze medal. In the same year, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced Vijender as the top-ranked boxer in its annual middleweight category list with 2800 points. He is credited for bringing back the sport of boxing into the limelight in India.
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The 2010 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XIX Commonwealth Games, were held in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. A total of 6,081 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and dependencies competed in 21 sports and 272 events. It was the largest international multi-sport event to be staged in Delhi and India, eclipsing the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982. The opening and closing ceremonies were held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main stadium of the event. It was the first time that the Commonwealth Games were held in India and the second time it was held in Asia after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. The official mascot of the Games was Shera and the official song of the Games, "Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto", was composed by celebrated Indian musician A.R. Rahman.
Initially, several concerns and controversies surfaced before the start of the Games. Despite these concerns, all member nations of the Commonwealth of Nations participated in the event, except Fiji, which is suspended from the Commonwealth, and Tokelau, which didn't send a team. A widely-praised opening ceremony helped improve the image of the Games. The concerns raised during the buildup to the Games proved largely unfounded as most events progressed smoothly.
The opening ceremony played a key role in improving the image of the Games. As athletes arrived and competitions started, many earlier critics changed their view. The Australian Sports Minister said that India could now aim for the Olympics, and the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, said that India had made a good foundation for a future Olympics bid. As the Games concluded, many observers remarked that they began on an apprehensive note, but were an exceptional experience with a largely positive ending. Some observers accused sections of the media of bias, unfair expectations, and negative reporting. The final medal tally was led by Australia. The host nation India gave its strongest performance yet to emerge second, while England placed third.
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