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Commonwealth Games in Australia – Test run for the Olympics

Opening Ceremony of the 21st Commonwealth Games in Australia. (AFP / Anthony Wallace)

These are the warm words that Prince Charles said at the start of the Commonwealth Games on a cold evening on the Gold Coast of Australia. Even more so because the Australians gave him a cold shoulder the day before. According to opinion polls, a clear majority do not want Charles to succeed the Queen to the throne – in general: the kingdom of a republic. It took a while for the Australian spike to fall from the crown of the British Empire. But before it could turn into a diplomatic event, first world records fell in the games. By Australian hosts twice. 4000m Pursuit in track cycling and 4x100m crawl relay for women.

Australians have spent 1. 1.25 billion to build venues for the tournament. Critics of “first-class sports facilities for second-class matches”. Because many international best athletes are not in the beginning. Some of the world’s best cyclists, basketball players and athletes are missing, Australian 100-meter hurdles star Sally Pearson has been injured, and four-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah, who really wanted to run a marathon for England. But has canceled. Kenya’s elite long- and medium-distance runners like to compete in lucrative sporting events, and competition: In addition to the Olympics and the World Championships, the Commonwealth Games looks like a little ugly duckling.

“Audiences are exaggerated when it comes to major sporting events,” says sports journalist Bob Seeker. “The Commonwealth Games are nowhere near as important as the Olympics. “

Big goal: the Olympics

More than one and a half billion people live every day in the participating countries, free advertising for the most visited tourist areas in Australia. John Coates, however, hopes that Australia will show its best in the Games because, as chairman of the Australian Olympic Committee, the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast are still a warm-up for the big Games. :

“It’s a great idea that Southeast Queensland and Australia are competing in the Olympics. Brisbane is the best candidate for the 2032 Olympics, competing with six other cities on the Gold Coast. Feasibility studies are ongoing, and I will do so.

In 1992, Brisbane wanted to bring the Olympics to the Gold Coast – but lost to Barcelona at the time. But this time not only the city of Brisbane but the entire district will have to apply. It is hoped that the sports facilities now built for the Commonwealth Games will be cheaper to recycle to the Olympics.

“The Olympics took place in Melbourne, and in Sydney – now it’s Queensland’s turn,” say two passersby in Brisbane, “and we’re a world-class city and icing on the cake at the Olympics.”

Meanwhile, everything is the same at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Australia and England are head-to-head in the medal tally, while Canada is on the bronze track and the rest have run. But after years of sluggish pitches, neglect and apathy, the Commonwealth Games need not hide – thanks in large part to the insane sporting prowess of the Australians. Because they excite every athlete – even in netball and lawn bowling.