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1962 Commonwealth Games

(British Empire and Commonwealth Games)

Opening Ceremony ... 22 Nov 1962 Host City ... Perth, Australia Closing Ceremony ... 1 Dec 1962
Participants ... 1,041 athletes, 35 Commonwealth Nations

The Opening Ceremony took place in 40 C (105 F) heat. Of the 53,000 people in the Perry Lakes Stadium, over 300 people were treated for heart attacks and heat exhaustion. It was the hottest November day in Perth in over 20 years.

Two years after she won triple gold medals at the Melbourne 1956 Olympics, Australia's Betty Cuthbert won gold at the Games as the last leg of the 4 x 100 yard relay. Dubbed the Golden Girl of the Melbourne Olympics, she was certainly gold here as well.

A Melbourne teacher, Pam Kilborn, won two gold in back-to-back events. She beat the world co-record holder to win gold in the Women's 80 yard Hurdles, then rushed off to again win gold. This time in the Long Jump with a winning leap of 20' 6.75".

In the Swimming events, Olympic Australian swimming champions Dawn Fraser, Murray Rose and Ian O'Brien added to their gold collection at the Games. Fraser and Rose both won 4 gold each and O'Brien won 3. Aussie Olympic medallist Kevin Berry also won 3 gold. All in all, Australia set 7 world records.

1962 Commonwealth Games

The yellow and blue 1962 Games logo has the British Empire and Commonwealth Games Federation emblem on a blue background. Above it is a yellow sun with a blue kangaroo.

In sweltering 32 C heat (90 F), the battle for gold in the 2,000 metre rowing final took place on the Canning River. The Australian team, all from Victoria, faced a very tough New Zealand team. After a remarkable sprint to the finish, the Aussie team jumped into the river to cool off from the extreme heat. Amazingly they had set a new world record of 5:53.4 to crack the sub-six-minute barrier for the first time. It wasn't until 1976 that the sub-six-minute was broken at the Olympics and it took until 1980 before the Perth record was broken.

And for a bit of trivia, years before he was to become Darth Vader of Star Wars fame, Dave Prowse, competed at the 1962 Games for England in Weightlifting. Although he was a four-time British champion, he was not able to complete his lift after four tries and did not medal. Even though Prowse played Darth Vader, the deeper voice of James Earl Jones was used and with the mask removed, the face you saw was actor Sebastian Shaw. Perhaps it was Prowse's whopping 6 feet 7 inch tall weightlifter physique that impressed director George Lucas.

Top 22 Countries By Total Medals

Host country listed in bold, Australia in green.
 

Country Gold Medals Silver Medals Bronze Medals Total
13 Singapore 2 0 0 2
14 Fiji 0 0 2 2
15 Trinidad & Tobago 0 0 2 2
16 Bahamas 0 1 0 1
17 Barbados 0 0 1 1
18 British Guiana 0 0 1 1
19 Jersey 0 0 1 1
20 Malaya 0 0 1 1
21 Northern Ireland 0 0 1 1
22 Papua New Guinea 0 0 1 1
Country Gold Medals Silver Medals Bronze Medals Total
1 Australia 38 36 31 105
2 England 29 22 27 78
3 New Zealand 10 12 10 32
4 Canada 4 12 15 31
5 Scotland 4 7 3 14
6 Pakistan 8 1 0 9
7 Ghana 3 5 1 9
8 Rhodesia 0 2 5 7
9 Uganda 1 1 4 6
10 Wales 0 2 4 6
11 Jamaica 3 1 1 5
12 Kenya 2 2 1 5

Participating Teams

Countries attending the games were: Aden, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, British Guiana, British Honduras, Canada, Ceylon, Dominica, England, Fiji, Ghana, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Kenya, Malaya, Malta, New Zealand, North Borneo, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Papua & New Guinea, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Sarawak, Scotland, Singapore, St. Lucia, Tanganyika, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Wales.

 

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