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Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

by October 13, 2014

Goodbye Glasgow, Hello Gold Coast


Closing ceremonies traditionally look back on what has just taken place and evoke what is to come.

So as the flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation came down at Hampden Park on Sunday evening, 3 August, and was ceremonially handed over to Gold Coast 2018, athletes of the 70 Commonwealth countries who had taken part celebrated the XXth Games and looked forward to gathering anew for the XXIst on the Gold Coast on 4-15 April, 2018.

After a speech by Commonwealth Games Federation president Prince Imran there was a rendition of Robert Burns’ Ae Fond Kiss by Karen Matheson as the flag was lowered and carried through the throng of athletes on the pitch to be passed on to the Gold Coast.

The transition was emphasised not only in the Ceremony, but also in the entertainment with legendary Scottish performers Lulu and Deacon Blue giving way to Australian superstars Kylie Minogue and Jessica Mauboy.

Commonwealth Games hurdles champion Sally Pearson and world champion surfer Mick Fanning also featured in a handover performance segment along with a 10-year-old ‘Gold Coast Kid’, Gabriel Pither, and a wildlife trainer and presenter, Tenielle Matheston.

The performance emphasised the city of Gold Coast and its stunning location – the beaches, the surf and the beach culture, as well as highlighting the region’s theme parks and attractions and the natural wonders of the Gold Coast and Queensland.

With the Flag Handover Ceremony came an invitation to all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth, their athletes, friends, families and the world, to gather on the Gold Coast in 2018.

Men’s Hockey captain Mark Knowles was Australia’s flag bearer for the ceremony which took place just hours after he had led his team to a fifth successive Commonwealth Games gold medal.

Rockhampton-born Knowles, has been a mainstay in the team since winning an Olympic gold in Athens in 2004. The Perth-based veteran of over 245 games was a member of the winning Commonwealth Games teams in Melbourne in 2006 and New Delhi in 2010 and now has led them to a gold medal in Glasgow. He is the first hockey player, male or female, to carry the flag in an opening or closing ceremony since the sport was introduced in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

“It’s a huge thrill to lead the team and carry the flag and I see it as a reward for what the team has achieved this year.”

Knowles revealed that he did not march in the Opening Ceremony and had not planned to march in the Closing because of a niggling foot injury.

“But when Steve Moneghetti asked me to carry the flag I would have marched no matter what – it’s a great honour and something I will cherish forever.”