Commonwealth Games FederationCommonwealth Games Federation

1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games

The awarding of the Games to Vancouver was the culmination of two years of very hard work by an enterprising group of Civic leaders spearheaded by then Mayor, Charles E. Thompson.

Vancouver then proceeded to set new standards in organisation and presentation of not only Commonwealth Games but all multi-sport Games of the times.

The athletes oath was taken by the captain of the Canadian team, Mr Bill Parnell, which for the first time would reflect the involvement of Commonwealth nations, outside of the British Empire.

The 5th edition of the Games placed Vancouver on a world stage and featured memorable sporting moments as well as outstanding entertainment, technical innovation and cultural events. The ‘Miracle Mile’, as it became known, saw both the gold medallist, Roger Bannister of England and silver medallist John Landy of Australia, run sub-four minute races in an event that was televised live across the world for the first time.

Some 24 countries sent a total of 662 athletes and 127 officials to the Vancouver Games. The 9 sports on the programme were athletics, boxing, cycling, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.

1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games