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Commonwealth Games begin with opening ceremony in Glasgow

Commonwealth Games begin with opening ceremony in Glasgow

Posted by Juan Gavasa on July 24, 2014

The XX Commonwealth Games have begun in Glasgow, Scotland, after the opening ceremony kicked off the competition at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

Veteran trap shooter Susan Nattrass, an eight-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, carried Canada's flag into the stadium. The team was decked out in a uniform sporting Canada’s tartan.

Canada has sent a team of 265 athletes — its largest ever for a Commonwealth Games held outside the country.

Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle headlined the ceremony, which included a giant kilt, Scottish dancing, an inflatable Loch Ness Monster, and other delights.

Sir Chris Hoy of Scotland, the most successful Olympian in British history, presented the Commonwealth Games baton to Queen Elizabeth II, who declared the competition officially open.

But not before an awkward moment hijacked the proceedings, as Commonwealth Games Federation President Prince Tunku Imran​ couldn’t take the cap off of the baton, which contained the parchment that Queen Elizabeth II was going to read for her speech.

Hoy came to the rescue, and between the two men, the cap was removed, but not before cameras caught a stern Royal Majesty looking very unamused.

Legendary Canadian para-athlete and Canada’s chef de mission Chantal Petitclerc helped carry the Commonwealth Games flag into the stadium.

The ceremony kicked off with a lighthearted romp centred around the many inventions Scotland has given the world, including the telephone, which at least one other country also can lay claim to (ours).

Canadian content

Stewart included some Canadian content when he performed Rhythm of my Heart, much to the delight of the crowd. Canadian singer-songwriter Marc Jordan wrote the song for Stewart. Jordan was in Glasgow at the opening ceremony to watch Stewart perform his hit.

Boyle sang Mull of Kintyre, and may or may not have forgotten the first two lines of the song.

The Canadian team is aiming to finish in the top three in the overall medal standings after falling to fourth at the 2010 Games in Delhi, India.

The track and field team is particularly strong, with 2013 world championship medallists Brianne Theisen-Eaton (heptathlon), Damian Warner (decathlon) and Derek Drouin (also an Olympic bronze medallist in the high jump) on the squad. Boston Marathon wheelchair champion Josh Cassidy will compete in the para-sport 1,500 metres.

In the pool, two-time Olympic medallist swimmer Ryan Cochrane will defend his Commonwealth titles in the 400m and 1,500m events. Olympic and world diving medallists Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion look to continue their strong season in the 10-metre synchro competition, as do Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware in the 3m.

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