Commonwealth Games: Prince Charles drives Aston Martin at the opening ceremony
The 2022 Commonwealth Games begin tonight in Birmingham with the Opening Ceremony at the redesigned Alexander Stadium, which will host athletics from next week.
A little over 10 years after the memorable opening ceremony of the London Olympics, the creative team behind the show is expected to highlight the talent and diversity of the West Midlands in a performance lasting approximately three hours. The focus is on the Parade of Nations, with participating athletes from countries across the Commonwealth parading into the stadium under their flag. Diver Jack Laugher and weightlifter Emily Campbell were selected as flag bearers for the host nation, England.
More than 5,000 athletes will compete for 280 gold medals in 20 different sports over the next 10 days. These Games will be the first global multisport event to feature more medals for women than men and will feature the largest integrated parasports program to date.
Follow the latest updates from the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony below.
A raging bull and a whimsical opening ceremony prove there’s still life in the Commonwealth Games
To use an often-quoted phrase, reports of the death of the Commonwealth Games have long been greatly exaggerated, writes James Toney.
The chorus of cynics fire their shots with the unfailing accuracy of a boxing hook, nag for a few days, and then, when it’s all done, it’s “See you in four years.”
Because here are those games again, 22 issues in and still over their weight in a packed sports calendar. Birmingham’s quirky premiere show will have done no harm in this junk.
However, this alliance of nations, forged from the pink bits of a long-fading world order, has probably never been so precarious. For too many years, one woman, now 96, and this sporting event have held them together. Which, I have to say, looks more than a little fragile.
Birmingham’s opening night did not shy away from the challenges of a sometimes uncomfortable alliance, in a clever, vibrant and colorful show that has been described as a ‘love letter’ to the West Midlands.
Raging Bull and the quirky opening ceremony prove the Commonwealth Games is still alive
The “love letter” to Birmingham also focused on a message condemning anti-gay laws in Commonwealth countries
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 10:58 p.m
Opening ceremony done and dusted off
Well, it was certainly something very special. Birmingham 2022 really put on a show for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth.
There was a lot of good stuff, some really cool pictures and maybe some bits that didn’t quite hit the mark, but hey, what opening ceremony doesn’t have that mix!
The giant mechanical bull is sure to be remembered for a long time! Our color piece from the ceremony will be uploaded shortly.
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 10:36 p.m
Duran Duran rocks Alexander Stadium
A couple of tracks from Duran Duran to finish – Save a Prayer among the songs. Decent stuff from Le Bon and co. The crowd at Alexander Stadium love it.
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 10:33 p.m
The grand finale – Duran Duran
Here we go, the grand finale! It’s Birmingham’s finest Duran Duran, led by Simon Le Bon to helm the show.
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 10:22 p.m
The 2022 Commonwealth Games officially open
Prince Charles reads the Queen’s message, the fireworks are off and the 2022 Commonwealth Games are officially open!
We then get one final nonsense with Stella and the Dreamers as they lift their shards of starlight – the various, imperfect fragments of the cosmos that then coalesce into something magical. I’m sure you get the metaphor.
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 10:18 p.m
Final phase of the staff relay
Geva Mentor, Mel Marshall and Sue Redfern read the Commonwealth Oath. The games are almost officially open!
Now Tom Daley is the Queen’s baton. The diving legend seizes the moment to highlight LGBTQ+ issues.
He is passing the baton to hockey superstar Alex Danson-Bennett to lead the next leg – supporting cancer research – before handing it over to Kim Daybell – a table tennis medalist who also worked on the NHS frontline during the pandemic. He is running for the NHS.
Galal Yafai, a Birmingham native and Olympic boxing medalist, next takes over the baton, passing the baton to ten-time Commonwealth medalist Max Whitlock. Raising awareness about mental health conversations, the gymnast takes the baton up the stairs.
Whitlock has to do a bit of gymnastics, do a cartwheel, and then climb up some plastic panels held by other athletes. Everything feels slightly dangerous!
He then straightens up and finally hands it to Denise Lewis, who takes the baton to the main stage where Prince Charles is waiting. And he reads a message on behalf of the Queen.
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 10:13 p.m
Commonwealth flag brought into the stadium
Ok, the parade of nations is complete. The Commonwealth Flag is now paraded, carried by the stars of past Commonwealth Games from across the Commonwealth.
It is brought to the main stage and lifted. Run it up the flagpole and let’s see who salutes!
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 10:02 p.m
Team England is still parading
Mo Farah and Nicola Adams send messages of support to Team England. The mammoth English team still parades through the arena. So many medal chances in the squad.
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 21:58
The 🔥 Kilts from Team Scotland
Team Scotland had the best European look for my money. These blue kilts are immense
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 21:55
Here comes Team England
And here are the hosts! Team England invade We Will Rock You. Diver Jack Laugher and weightlifter Emily Campbell are the flag bearers.
An English team of 430 players takes part in these games. It’s a mediocre outfit look I would say. The red jackets are nice, muted khaki pants and white t-shirts are pretty meh.
Big cheers from the audience for the home favourite.
Luke BakerJuly 28, 2022 21:54
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/commonwealth-games/opening-ceremony-live-birmingham-2022-b2133209.html Commonwealth Games LIVE Opening Ceremony: Latest updates on the start of Birmingham 2022