Glasgow To Step Into The Spotlight

Edinburgh has done it twice and now it is Glasgow's turn to be under the spotlight.

Glasgow is hosting the Commonwealth Games for the sixth time on British soil since the competition began in 1930.

On the previous two occasions, athletes descended on Edinburgh in 1970 and 1986 for what would be two vastly differing experiences on Scottish soil.

Scotland's capital city beat Christchurch in New Zealand to be the host city in 1970 in what would be a Games of many firsts.

As well as taking place in Scotland for the first time, metric units, rather than imperial units, made their debut, while electronic photo-finish technology was employed for the first time too.

In what was the ninth Games, it was also the first time the Queen attended in her capacity as head of the Commonwealth and that the name 'the British Commonwealth Games' was used.

The multi-sport event was initially known as the British Empire Games, then the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and was given its current title of the Commonwealth Games in 1978.

A total of 42 nations took part in 121 events in nine sports between July 16-25, with Scotland ranking fourth in the medals table.

The host nation claimed 25 medals overall - six gold, eight silver and 11 bronze.

Highlights included Ian Stewart's gold in the 5,000 metres, with his brother Peter coming fourth in the same race.

Lachie Stewart (no relation) also sealed an impressive win for the Scots in the 10,000 metres, when he beat off strong competition from the favourite, Australian Ron Clarke.

The Games were hailed as a success and Edinburgh became the first city to stage the event twice when they were again awarded host status in 1986.

But, 16 years on, it was set to be a very different experience.

Dubbed 'The Boycott Games', the occasion will unfortunately be best remembered for a large political boycott that was the result of the Thatcher government's position on apartheid.

The stance on British sporting links with an apartheid-era South Africa at that time led to 32 of the 59 countries eligible to take part boycotting the Games, with mainly African, Asian and Caribbean states putting on a no-show.

From July 24 to August 2, 26 nations did take part - including the Maldives and Norfolk Island, who made their first appearance at the Games - with 1,662 athletes participating in total.

It was the lowest number of athletes since the 1950 Games.

Lack of participation led to a number of financial issues, including a drop in the value of broadcasting rights and a drop in sponsorship.

The 1986 Games subsequently spiralled into heavy debts, which were not cleared until 1989, with the City of Edinburgh losing approximately #500,000.

There were 10 sports in the second Edinburgh edition - athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, cycling, lawn bowls, rowing, shooting, weightlifting and wresting.

In the lawn bowls event, Scotland's Willie Wood was one of several participants excluded for breaking amateurism rules.

But Dundee's Liz Lynch - later to be known as Liz McColgan - raised Scottish spirits by claiming gold in the 10,000 metres.

Her victory was one of three claimed by the Scots, who also secured 12 silver and 18 bronze prizes to rank sixth in the medal table with an overall haul of 33 medals.

In September 2004, Glasgow was announced as the Scottish candidate city over Edinburgh for the 2014 Games, despite the capital's previous experience.

Halifax, in Canada, dropped out of the running, leaving the Scots to battle it out with the Nigerian capital Abuja for the honour.

The bid proved to be a success when Glasgow was confirmed as the host city in November 2007 - giving Glaswegians the opportunity to step out of the shadow of Edinburgh and enjoy their own big moment.

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