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1974 Commonwealth Games

(British Commonwealth Games)

Opening Ceremony ... 24 Jan 1974 Host City ... Christchurch, New Zealand Closing Ceremony ... 2 Feb 1974
Participants ... 1,276 athletes, 38 Commonwealth Nations

1974 Commonwealth GamesThe 1974 Games was the first to face the challenge of protecting the Commonwealth Games from terrorists. Two years earlier the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany faced the tragic consequences when Palestinian terrorists broke into the Munich Olympic Games Village and massacred athletes.

And so it was that gentle and pretty Christchurch (small city of only 250,000 people) was forced to turn its plans to include a high level of security, with extra police called in, security guards for the Games Village and manned road blocks.

Although security was a concern, the townspeople and organizers took a more relaxed attitude than was normal for a large sporting event. For example the Woolston Working Men's Club hosted the Lawn Bowling event while Boxing events took place at a sheep auction hall called Canterbury Court.

The press predicted disaster. By the time the Games ended, they changed their tune pronouncing it the friendliest and most efficient of any Games to date. Although they had a tight budget of $8.5 million, the Games organizers proved that you don't need to be big to host a major sporting event. While that was possible then, today they would find it far more difficult. In comparison, the 2006 Melbourne, Australia Games cost $2.3 billion, yes, billion with a "b".

The 1974 Games also marked the beginning of colour television broadcasts in New Zealand. The 1974 Games had 121 events in 10 sports.

Top 22 Countries By Total Medals

Host country listed in bold, Australia in green.
 

Country Gold Medals Silver Medals Bronze Medals Total
12 Northern Ireland 3 1 2 6
13 Malaysia 1 0 3 4
14 Jamaica 2 1 0 3
15 Zambia 1 1 1 3
16 Tanzania 1 0 1 2
17 Trinidad-Tobago 0 1 1 2
18 Western Samoa 0 1 1 2
19 St Vincent 1 0 0 1
20 Lesotho 0 0 1 1
21 Singapore 0 0 1 1
22 Swaziland 0 0 1 1
Country Gold Medals Silver Medals Bronze Medals Total
1 Australia 29 29 25 83
2 England 28 31 22 81
3 Canada 25 18 18 61
4 New Zealand 9 8 18 35
5 Scotland 3 5 10 18
6 Kenya 7 2 9 18
7 India 4 8 3 15
8 Nigeria 3 3 4 10
9 Wales 1 5 4 10
10 Uganda 2 4 3 9
11 Ghana 1 3 5 9

 

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