Commonwealth Games: Team Scotland kick off opening ceremony

Posted April 05, 2018

"Over the years these friendly Games have shown the potential of the Commonwealth to connect people of different backgrounds and nationalities".

Gambia - who rejoined the Commonwealth in February after withdrawing in 2013 - have the smallest team at the Games, consisting of six athletes.

Australia's men's hockey team captain Mark Knowles led the hosts through the stadium at 9:36pm local time with the public address letting out the popular 1981 tune by Australian rock band Men at Work "Down Under". The team also includes first-time Commonwealth competitors like swimmer Penny Oleksiak and beach volleyball teammates Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Parades.

Cyclist Jack Carlin from Paisley will be making his Games debut in the Gold Coast as he takes part in the individual sprint and keirin events.

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Uganda has a large representation in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Liz Cambage begins her tuneup for the WNBA season with the Dallas Wings when she leads the Australian team in the Commonwealth Games basketball competition.

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As a proud Gold Coast local and the biggest Australian star in the Games' premier sport, Pearson was the ideal choice to complete the baton relay, just as Cathy Freeman had been the flawless fit to light the cauldron at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

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She said: "It was exhilarating marching into the stadium with my team-mates. Play your game, be your dominant self and everything will go well".

Luther Cora, from the Bundjalung nation, which is in the Gold Coast area, performed a traditional smoking ceremony with his family. The Commonwealth is now more relevant than ever before.

Adding to the upbeat message ahead of Wednesday's opening ceremony, when rain is forecast, Beattie said: "We are ready".

The first Commonwealths gold will be presented in the women's triathlon on Thursday.

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The Cook Islands will compete in track and field, bowls, swimming and weightlifting events.