The 17th Commonwealth Games begin
Melbourne, Australia, has become more alive and exciting than has been the case perhaps since last hosting the Olympic Games several decades ago. The occasion this time around is the hosting of the Commonwealth Games, considered small by comparison to the prestigious Olympic Games.
Melbourne is a beautiful city steeped in sporting history.
The host venue of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and all of the days of track and field competition is the scenic and most renowned Melbourne Cricket Ground, popularly known to cricket aficionados as the MCG.
For many the MCG is a fitting indication of the extent to which the host, the City of Melbourne, is prepared to go to ensure that this 18th edition of the Commonwealth Games emerges as the best in the history of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
Many visitors here are anxious to observe the manner in which the MCG has been transformed to accommodate a synthetic track and allow for the hectic track and field competition. The Commonweath Games have been promoted as The Friendly Games and the people of Melbourne and the countless volunteers that have joined in the hosting of this edition appear committed to ensuring that the Games live up to that title.
Everywhere the people are certainly friendly, welcoming the thousands who have journeyed here to be a part of another international sporting spectacle on Australian soil.
Australia has long been host to many international events well beyond the sporting arena. However, there is little doubt as to the capacity of Australian cities to host major international sporting events.
Melbourne has held the Olympics before and Sydney was the toast of the international sporting community with the hosting of the Olympic Games in 2000.
Melbournes preparation for these Games began with its outstanding presentations in the submission of its initial bid several years ago.
Australian City, Adelaide had lost in its bid to host the 1998 Commonwealth Games to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. That was back in 1992.
Melbournes bid committee, led by outstanding Australian politician, businessman and organiser of major events, John Walker, made up for all of the errors of Adelaide. Melbourne showed that it had ever reason to win the bid and it did.