The Friendly Games: part 1

The Commonwealth is a voluntary organization of 54 independent countries who all share a common history as part of Britain's imperial past. The countries are as diverse as Canada, New Zealand, Pakistan, Barbados, Sri Lanka, and Zambia, and Queen Elizabeth is head of the organization. Today the Commonwealth works to advance democracy, human rights and social and economic development and organizes special programs to help promote trade, science, health, young people and many other specific issues in its member countries. The Olympic-style Commonwealth Games are held every four years in a different member country. Known as the Empire Games until 1950, the first event was held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930. There were only eleven participating countries, and the sports included athletics, boxing, bowls, rowing, swimming, and wrestling. England has only hosted the Games twice: in London in 1934 and in Manchester in 2002. They have only been held twice outside of Canada, Britain, or Australasia - in Jamaica in 1966 and in Malaysia in 1998. 


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