2 September 2015
South Africa’s coastal city of Durban has been named as host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The announcement took place Auckland, New Zealand on Wednesday after a unanimous vote by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
It will be the first time the event is held on the African continent.
“Over more than eight decades, many great Commonwealth cities, nations and territories have hosted the games in order to build peaceful, prosperous and sustainable communities, inspired by the actions and achievements of our Commonwealth athletes, and underpinned by our values of humanity, equality and destiny,” said outgoing CGF President HRH Tunku Imran.
“Our friends from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa are now primed to make the most of that responsibility and opportunity, and it gives me very great pleasure to welcome the South African City of Durban as proud host of the XXII Commonwealth Games. As a movement, we stand together to welcome and support the very first Commonwealth Games on African soil.”
South Africa ended up being the sole bidder after the Canadian city of Edmonton withdrew its bid because of financial concerns related to the oil price.
Bid Committee Chairman, Mark Alexander expressed his thanks to the CGF for awarding the games to Durban. “It will accelerate the progress the city is making in construction and development, and in building a more inclusive citizenry,” he said.
See the delegates break out in song in New Zealand:
— Helen Phillips(@HelenPhillips05)September 2, 2015
“Through the Games we aim to build greater social cohesion, create opportunities for empowerment, boost prosperity and ensure equality, while also fast-tracking economic growth in our country. The Commonwealth Games in Durban will be a game changer for the city,” added Alexander.
Durban’s mayor James Nxumalo said it was a huge step. “Today marks a gigantic leap in the affirmation and positive trajectory for the continent of Africa,” he said. “It is a moment to seize and firmly anchor our position as a decisive force in sports worldwide.”
“Durban’s vision supports and contributes to South Africa’s 2030 National Development Plan and is rooted in the desire to engage citizens (especially young people), athletes and the Commonwealth,” reads the Durban 2022 website.
“The Games concept features a compact venue plan centred on the sporting super-precinct of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and adjacent coastline, providing excellent opportunities for innovative sport presentation and enhanced athlete experience. The Opening Ceremony would take place on Mandela Day, 18 July 2022.”
Trending on Twitter
The hashtags #ReadyToInspire and #Durban2022 quickly became the top trending topics on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
It was celebrations all around for South Africans and many took to Twitter to show their pride and excitement.
— Durban Chamber (@DurbanChamber)September 2, 2015
About the games
The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport, international event for athletes from many territories that were part of the British Empire.
They were first held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada, where 11 countries sent 400 athletes to take part in six sports and 59 events. The Games take place every four years; the only years they skipped were 1942 and 1946 because of World War II.
From 1930 to 1950, the Games were known as the British Empire Games; from 1954 until 1966, they were called the British Empire and Commonwealth Games; and from 1970 to 1974 they took on the title of British Commonwealth Games. At the 1978 Games in Edmonton, the name was changed to the Commonwealth Games.