Despite there being so many fond memories of the Scottish hospitality offered in 1970, many Commonwealth nations did not attend the 1986 Games because of a wide political boycott. 32 nations - many of them African, Asian and Caribbean countries and states - decided not to attend the Games as a reaction to the UK government’s refusal to impose sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid administration.
Consequently, Edinburgh 1986 witnessed the lowest number of athletes since Auckland 1950. Twenty-six nations did attend the second Edinburgh Games and sent a total of 1,662 athletes and 461 officials. The ceremony began on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle from which hundreds of schoolchildren ran down the Royal Mile, through Holyrood Park to Meadowbank Stadium.
The Games were nevertheless also remembered for a number of (particularly home nation) sporting triumphs: with Dundee runner Liz Lynch (now Liz McColgan) delivering one of the standout performances of the Games.
Ten sports were featured at the second Edinburgh Games – Athletics, Aquatics (Diving, Synchronised Swimming & Swimming), Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Lawn Bowls, Rowing, Shooting, Weightlifting and Wrestling.