CWG 2018 Opening Ceremony: Gold Coast Games Declared Open

Countdown Begins For CWG 2018

The 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games is set to kick-off in Gold Coast, with the opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium in Queensland, Australia on Wednesday, 4 April scheduled for 3pm IST. Star shuttler and Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu will lead the Indian contingent as the flag-bearer.

A total of 227 athletes will represent India at the quadrennial games, scheduled to take place from 4 April-15 April.

PM Narendra Modi on 4 April extended his best wishes to the Indian contingent for the Gold Coast CWG.

India's Hockey Men

Senior Indian hockey players PR Sreejesh and SV Sunil were among the first to share photos from the CWG village.

Also Read: CWG 2018 Opening Ceremony: When and Where to Watch

The Indian hockey team start their CWG campaign with a match against Pakistan on 7 April, followed by Pool B games against Wales, Malaysia and England.

Here’s what the senior players in the squad had to say before leaving for the quadrennial games:

Also Read: ‘We’re Ready’: Indian Men’s Hockey Team Look to Win First CWG Gold

Crowds Start Arriving

Spectators are filing into the Carrara stadium as we approach the opening ceremony, scheduled to kick off at 3:15pm IST.

Also Read: Saina Threatens To Pull Out of CWG, IOA Arranges Dad’s Clearance

Ceremony Underway

The opening ceremony for the 2018 CWG is now underway.

Back to The Roots

Dancers perform at Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, Wednesday, 4 April 2018
Dancers perform at Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Dancers perform at Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The opening ceremony features celebrations of the laid-back beach lifestyle synonymous with the Gold Coast, and Australian indigenous culture.

The ceremony begins with a musical rendition of popular Australian song My Island Home by hip-hop artist Mau Power, William Barton on digeridoo and Christine Anu.

The Royals Are Here

Prince Charles, left, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, second left, arrive during the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast, Australia, Wednesday

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla have now arrived to officially open the competition on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

Dignitaries on stage, the entire arena sings the Australian national anthem.

(Photo: AP)

Scotland Start The Proceedings

The Parade of Nations begins with the contingent from Glasgow, the host country from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Team Scotland flag-bearer Eilidh Doyle leads her team into Carrara Stadium.
England’s flag-bearer Alistair Brownlee walks with his teammates into Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
(Photo: Reuters)
Team Wales flag-bearer Jazz Carlin leads her team into Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Semenya Leads South African Contingent

South Africa’s flag-bearer Caster Semenya leads her team into Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony.

History being made in Gold Coast, Castor Semenya is leading the South African contingent at the opening ceremony. The Olympic 800 meter gold-medallist has seen her career plagued by controversy ever since being subjected to a gender test at the 2009 World Championships. Since then though, the IAAF has ruled that women with higher testosterone level would be allowed to compete after using hormone therapy.

In Gold Coast, Semenya is going for a rare double, competing in the 800 meter and 1500 meter events.

South Africa’s flag-bearer Caster Semenya leads her team into Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony.

Smiling Sindhu Leads Indian Contingent

India’s flag-bearer PV Sindhu leads her team into Carrara Stadium for the CWG opening ceremony.

Bearing the flag, star shuttler and Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu led the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony. The top seed in the women's singles event, the 22-year-old will begin her quest for the gold in the second round against Falkland Islands' Zoe Morris.

The Indians ditched tradition for comfort in the ceremony, marching out in blazers and trousers rather than the conventional sarees and bandhgalas.

Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia March in

Team Pakistan is led by flag-bearer Usman at Carrara Stadium at the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Canada flag-bearer Meaghan Benfeito leads her team into Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Team Malaysia is lead by flag-bearer Muhammad Hakimi Ismail at Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
New Zealand flag-bearer Sophie Pascoe leads her team into Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Team Sri Lanka is lead by flag-bearer Chinthana Vidanage at Carrara Stadium at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Mark Knowles Leads Hosts Australia

Team Australia is led by flag bearer Mark Knowles at Carrara Stadium at the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Team Australia is lead by flag-bearer Mark Knowles at Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Australian men’s hockey team captain Mark Knowles led the host contingent with the flag at the CWG opening ceremony.

The veteran Kookaburra has won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and will retire immediately after the Gold Coast event.

'Rain or Sun, Team India is One!'

Indian shooter Gagan Narang, scheduled to participate in the 50m Rifle Prone event, tweeted a video of the Indian flag during the Indian ceremony.

Traditional Smoking Ceremony

Aborigines perform a smoking ceremony at Carrara Stadium during the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Aborigines perform a smoking ceremony at Carrara Stadium during the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

With all the participating contingents present in the stadium, the traditional smoking ceremony was performed, recognising and respecting indigenous people and rights across Australia and the Commonwealth.

CWG Flag Hoisting

The Commonwealth Games Federation flag was brought in and raised, with John Farnham’s classic You're the Voice playing in the background.

The Commonwealth Games flag is carried into Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Commonwealth Games flag is carried into Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Karen Murphy, Lisa Alexander and Desmond Johnston take the oath on behalf of the athletes, coaches and technical officials at Gold Coast CWG.

Final Leg of QBR

The baton enters the arena and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Susie O'Neill carries it to cyclist Brad McGee. Loud applause follows the handing-over of the baton as wheelchair paralympian Kurt Fearnley takes over.

Finally, 2011 and 2017 World champion and 2012 Olympic champion in the 100 metres hurdles Sally Pearson is the final athlete to carry the baton over to the podium with the dignitaries.

'Declare The Games Open'

Britain’s Prince Charles, right, officially declares the 21st Commonwealth Games open at Carrara Stadium during the opening ceremony.

Prince Charles reads the Queen’s message before officially declaring the Games open.

“On Commonwealth Day last year I placed this message into the impressive baton. Over the past 388 days, on its journey from Buckingham Palace to the Gold Coast, the baton relay has passed through every nation and territory of the Commonwealth. I have no doubt that the baton and its carriers have been warmly welcomed by the many thousands of people who have lined the route. The ancient stories told by the Indigenous people of Australia remind us that even though we may be half a world away, we are all connected.

Over the years these friendly Games have shown the potential of the Commonwealth to connect people of different backgrounds and nationalities. In this spirit of cooperation and togetherness and enduring friendships found and forged. As you come together at the start of these Games, I continue to be inspired by the courage, enthusiasm and dedication of all those taking part. I send my warm wishes to every competing individual and team and to all those who have helped to bring about the first Commonwealth Games in this very special part of Australia. The Gold Coast. Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it now gives me the greatest pleasure, to declare the XXI Commonwealth Games open.”

Ceremony Draws to Close

As the opening ceremony heads towards a close, the Migaloo – the world's first documented all-white humpback whale and a popular sight off Australia's east coast – enters the stadium.

Dancers perform at Carrara Stadium during the opening ceremony for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Finally, Australian singer and songwriter Ruel takes stage to perform Golden Years.

With helicopter shots of the colourfully lit and cheerful Carrara Stadium, the opening ceremony comes to a close, paving the way for 11 days of constant sporting action from more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations.

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