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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.

3 PHOTOS

  • Roger Bannister with His Gold Medal - Men's 1 Mile - 1954

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  • Roger Bannister Beats Record Holder John Landy - Men's 1 Mile - 1954

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  • Bannister and Landy Battle to the Finish Line - Men's 1 Mile - Vancouver 1954

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40 VIDEOS

  • The Miracle Mile - The Commonwealth Games Moments 2013

    Duration: 00:09:53

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  • John Savidge - Men's Shot Putt - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:06

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  • Games Declared Open - Opening Ceremony - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:07:59

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  • The Raising of the Flag - Opening Ceremony - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:01:55

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  • Guard of Honour - Opening Ceremony - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:43

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  • Duke of Edinburgh - Closing Ceremony - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:02:33

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  • Declared Closed - Closing Ceremony - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:02:16

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  • Sir Arthur Porritt - Closing Ceremony - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:06:19

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  • Ceremonial Flag - Closing Ceremony - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:06:51

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  • Triumphant Success - Closing Ceremony - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:34

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  • Jim Halliday - Men's 75kg Combined - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:01:10

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  • Gerald Gratton - Men's 82.5kg Combined - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:10

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  • Keevil Daly for Canada - Men's 90kg Combined - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:01:06

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  • Women's 220yd Breaststroke Final - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:04:50

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  • Victory for Scotland - Women's 220yd Breastroke - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:39

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  • Women's 110yd Freestyle Final - Vancouver, 1954

    Duration: 00:00:56

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  • Clean Sweep for Australia - Men's 110yd Freestyle Final - 1954

    Duration: 00:00:38

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  • Gold for Wales - Men's 110yd Backstroke - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:04:12

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  • A fine Welsh Triumph - Men's 110yd Backstroke - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:18

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  • Men's Coxless Pair Rowing - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:30

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  • Men's Eight Rowing Final - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:01:55

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  • Men's 3m Springboard - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:24

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  • High Diving Highlights - Men's 10m Platform - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:31

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  • Yvette Williams for New Zealand - Women's Long Jump - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:18

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  • Northern Ireland lands Gold - Women's High Jump - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:12

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  • Women's 220yd Final - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:34

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  • Men's Pole Vault Final - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:24

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  • The Miracle Mile - 1 Mile Final - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:50

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  • The Marvelous Mile - Men's 1 Mile Final - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:02:28

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  • Mile of the Century - 1 Mile Final - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:02:47

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  • Jim Peters Agonising Collapse - Men's Marathon - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:51

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  • Drama for England - Men's Marathon - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:01:20

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  • Dramatic Scenes in Men's Marathon - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:01:07

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  • Clean Sweep for England - Men's 880yd Final - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:25

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  • Donald Jowett in Close Contest - Men's 220yd Final - Vancouver 1954

    Duration: 00:00:32

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  • Gardner takes Gold - Men's 120yd Hurdles - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:25

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  • Chataway takes Gold - Men's 3 Miles - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:39

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  • Chataway Sprints to Victory - Men's 3 Miles - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:00:42

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  • Chataway Number One - Men's 3 Mile - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:07:07

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  • The Champs Return - Vancouver, Canada 1954

    Duration: 00:01:06

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1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games