CGF President Louise Martin CBE: Gold Coast 2018 Opening Ceremony Speech

Wednesday 4 April 2018

“Your Royal Highnesses, Elders, Prime Minister, Premier, Mayor, Distinguished Guests, Ladies, Gentlemen, and Commonwealth Athletes.

Jingeri Jangalungs.

Thank you for joining us this evening, as we officially open the 21st Commonwealth Games here on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

We are Commonwealth athletes. 

On the opposite side of this country in 1962 in Perth, I was exactly in the position you are now.  I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and at the same time excited at what I was about to do.   

As a swimmer on the starting block, I realised... it was for real.   And now, it’s real for you.

Commonwealth Sport made me who I am today.  It gave me the chance to un-lock my potential, and Commonwealth sport can do the same for you. 

Today, there is a renewed focus on what our family of nations stands for and who we are.  The Commonwealth is now more relevant than ever before.

We have a great opportunity to be the global leader in demonstrating how we can successfully thrive together, as both a deeply diverse yet unified family of 2.4 billion people.

With our shared history, our shared values and our common vision for the future, we are truly distinct. We are a vast global family – an eclectic mix of cultures.

It is this unbreakable Commonwealth connection that enables us to have a positive impact on each other and on the world we share. 

Athletes... you will be part of a Games of “firsts”.  

This is the first International Multi Sport Event to have equal medal opportunities for both men and women.

This is the first Games to include a Reconciliation Action Plan, respecting and recognising the first nation peoples of the entire Commonwealth.

This is the largest fully inclusive para-sport medal events programme ever at a Commonwealth Games; the largest at any international sports event. We are proud to champion inclusivity and accessibility for all.

Athletes… Grasp this opportunity, right here, right now.  This is a platform to show the world what it means to be a Commonwealth athlete. You inspire us to un-lock our own potential. 

The stories you will create in the next 11 days will resonate with our values: Humanity, Equality and Destiny. 

We celebrate you.

We celebrate the Modern Commonwealth. 

Thank you and Nanya boo.”