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1962 British Empire & Commonwealth Games

The VII Commonwealth Games are remembered for its “heat, dust and glory”. The day before the Perth Games opened the temperature was an expected 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but the heat was measured at 105 degrees at the opening ceremony in the new Perry Lakes Stadium the following day and such extremes persisted throughout the Games’ duration. In the previous 65 years, only 10 100 degree plus days had been recorded in Perth. Australian soldiers were pressed into action, ferrying water to competing athletes.

James Coote of the London Daily Telegraph describes: "The VIIth Commonwealth Games have proved that it is possible for an area as basically devoid of sports interest as Perth to stage the second most important sports meeting in the World - and stage it successfully. Perth has shown that these Games will continue for years to come"

Thirty-five countries sent a total of 863 athletes and 178 officials to Perth. Jersey was amongst the medal winners for the first time, whilst British Honduras, Dominica, Papua New Guinea and St Lucia all made their inaugural Games appearances. Aden also competed by special invitation. Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya competed for the last time before taking part in 1966 under the Malaysian flag.

Nine sports were featured at the Perth Games – athletics, boxing, cycling, fencing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.

For Perth, the staging of the Commonwealth Games provided it with a springboard for phenominal development in sport and recreation, centered around the sports facilities that were built for the Games. These facilities have catered not only for elite sport but provided much needed opportunity for the development of organised recreational sport as well as a focus for Australia's first University degree Program in Physical Education.

1962 British Empire & Commonwealth Games