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Medals, odd mascots and memories

Flashback Friday: Commonwealth Games Special

Hot on the wheels of Anna Meares’ success at Glasgow (pun intended), the Commonwealth Games are in full swing so we thought we’d jump on the trending bandwagon, because we’re all about relevancy here at team SMART.

Impress your tinder date this weekend and drop a few of these little factoids into the convo. You’re welcome, in advance.

1998 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Great year. Armageddon was released on the big screen. The goliath Google was founded. Spice Girls’ popularity was soaring to stratospheric heights. All the while US President Bill Clinton was insisting he did not have sexual relations with a former White House intern.

It was also the first time the Commonwealth Games was hosted by an Asian country and interestingly, was the first time team sports were included.

Fun fact: Cricket was introduced but sadly removed the following Games with little hope of returning.

The mascot, an Orangutan called Wira, was named after the Malaysian word meaning warrior. In case you were wondering, the Orangutan is the only known primate that makes and sleeps in its own bed of twigs and small branches (you’re going to kill it at trivia this weekend!).

Australia topped the medal tally with 82 golds, 61 silver and 57 bronze.

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2002 Manchester, England

The year itself a palindrome, 2002 was the year of the Outback in Australia. It was also the year that Kylie donned the gold hotpants, the original iPod was released and Little Britain first graced television screens.

The Manchester Games famously added table tennis to the mix, potentially inspiring the rise of Beer Pong.

The mascot was a part cat part lion hybrid simply known as Kit and was meant to symbolise Manchester’s youthful, vibrant, dynamic and friendly personality.

The logo featured three humans holding hands, representing unity and friendship. Fun Fact: our very own Senior Designer Kerry Birch worked on the creative back in her mother country.

Aussie legend Ian Thorpe dominated the pool and claimed six gold medals. Onya Thorpie.

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2006 Melbourne, Australia

A bad year for romance, 2006 was the year that Reese Witherspoon/Ryan Phillippe, Britney Spears/Kevin Federline (or K-Fed), Whitney Houston/Bobby Brown, Paul McCartney/Heather Mills, Pam Anderson/Kid Rock, Carmen Electra/Dave Navarro, and Kate Hudson/Chris Robinson all filed for divorce. Some of them we honestly didn’t see coming.

In more positive news, the Commonwealth Games returned down under and we once again topped the medal tally with 84 golds.

One of the massive highlights from the games was the late Kerryn McCann’s courageous marathon victory over rival Kenyan Hellen Cherono Koskei. The pair battled it out on the final stretch before Kerryn summoned an inspiring home straight burst to eclipse her opponent by two seconds.

2010 Delhi, India

Ahh 2010, the year that saw Lost finally end, a royal engagement and the WikiLeaks controversy.

It also saw the largest and perhaps the most criticised Commonwealth Games with 6,081 athletes from 71 nations competing in 21 sports.

The mascot, Shera (pictured below) was an anthropomorphised tiger designed to represent the modern Indian – a large hearted achiever with a positive attitude who is a global citizen but proud of his nation’s heritage.

The Games were also one of the most controversial with massive construction issues that plagued the lead up just the beginning. Our own Gold Coast golden girl Sally Pearson was disqualified from the 100m hurdles for a false start just moments before she was due to sing Advanced Australia Fair. Later, the new Gold medallist tested positive for drugs, so the third runner up was awarded the gold medal.

Despite the drama, Australia topped the medal tally.

Fun fact: Keep an eye out on the worlds most populous country this year. They won 6 medals at the 2012 London Olympics and 101 medals at the 2010 New Delhi Comm Games.

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2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

So far, 2014 has delivered a mixed bag of highs and lows. Orange Is the New Black Season 2 an obvious high, that yet-another Tranformers movie a tedious low, Pharrell’s Happy sweeping the globe and of course that record-breaking selfie from the Oscars.

Speaking of selfies, only a day in and the Queen has already photo-bombed the Aussie hockey team, that cheeky minx! We've also set a new world record in the 4x100 freestyle relay and Anna Meares won gold in the 500m time trial.

And as for the mascot, well Clyde has his very own fan page. We’ll let you figure out for yourself if it’s considered a high or low. 

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2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

In just 1349 days the Commonwealth Games hits sunny the Gold Coast and our beachside office is pretty excited. With The G:link launching just this month (that’s the light rail for all those out of the loop), there are many more transformations to come before the big day.

What’s our mascot going to be? What's going to be the highlight? Will we continue to top the medal tally? But more importantly, what will pop culture remember about 2014?

Image references: Photodivision, Jayde Taylor