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Honour of Empire, Glory of Sport

Honour of Empire, Glory of Sport

Ref No: 9781903158098

Details: Author: David Moorcroft & Bob Phillips

Type: Books

Price: £20.00

They have come to be called 'The Friendly Games' and there's no doubting that they deserve the title. Intensely competitive at the very highest level in many events, they still maintain a relaxed family atmosphere which contrasts vividly with the commercialised clamour of the Olympics. Yet it is astonishing that the Commonwealth Games should have survived at all for more than 70 years. They were founded against all the odds in the midst of a World wide economic slump in 1930. Scarcely had they been established than they were threatened by the spectre of apartheid. Then in 1938, and again in 1950, they were held in distant Australia and then New Zealand, to where few countries could afford to send full teams, or in some cases any teams at all. The Bannister v Landy 'Miracle Mile' at Vancouver in 1954 heralded the start of a golden era graced by such great athletes as Herb Elliott, Peter Snell, Lynn Davies, Mary Rand, Mary Peters and Raelene Boyle. Then came the likes of Daley Thompson, David Moorcroft, Steve Cram and a multitude of tireless Kenyan distance-runners. Even so, the Games seemed doomed to obscurity or even obliteration when a proposed New Zealand rugby tour of South Africa caused a host of African and Caribbean teams to pull out of the 1986 Games in Edinburgh. The 100 metres champion in Edinburgh, Ben Johnson, was expelled from the Olympics in disgrace two years later after a positive drugs test, and drugs caused another scandal at the 1994 Games in Canada. Yet the Commonwealth Games have continued to prosper, even in the face of lucrative Grand Prix meetings elsewhere, and superstars like Linford Christie, Merlene Ottey and Ato Boldon have lent their illustrious presence to the occasion. Next, in 2002, it will be Manchester's turn as hosts - and the organisers have a lot to live up to. Let the Games begin.

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