The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games is a reminder of the connection that all participating countries share as part of the Commonwealth family of nations.
This was the message of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, that was delivered by her son Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales at the opening of the 22nd Games.
Among the colours displayed during the opening ceremony, were 14 Pacific nations that brought their culture to the Games.
Clad in colourful attires of their home countries, the Pacific nations were a favourite among the crowd. Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands, Norfolk Island, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands make up the Pacific contingent, perhaps the biggest from the region yet.
Prince Charles delivered the Queen’s message and said the venue for the games held special significance.
“Tonight, in the words of the founder of the Games, we embark once again on a novel adventure here in Birmingham, a pioneering city which has drawn in and embraced so many throughout its history,” said Prince Charles.
It was a spectacular event, where thousands witnessed red arrows fly-past and an appearance from the 10-meter high “Raging Bull”.
More than 5,000 athletes will be competing in 280 events across 19 sports, in the coming ten days.
The Birmingham Games will also mark the debut of the women’s T20 cricket and 3×3 basketball.
Women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, 25, who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2012, gave a speech during the opening ceremony.
She said the Games, “represent millions of girls and boys and our shared goal, where every child can go to school, where women can fully participate in society, and where families can live in peace and dignity.
“Remember, every child deserves her chance to fulfil her potential and pursue her wildest dreams,” Yousafzai said.
Birmingham City is filled with the slogan, “sport is just the beginning”.