XXI Commonwealth Games underway

The Cayman Islands delegation enters the stadium.

The XXI Commonwealth Games are officially underway, as the Cayman Islands joined 70 other nations and territories for a spectacular show of culture at the Carrara Stadium for the opening ceremony on 4 April.

Long Jumper Carl Morgan led the delegation as the flag bearer during the epic Parade of Nations in front of thousands of cheering spectators and millions more watching on television.

“Words cannot explain what it means to me to be able to bear the flag of the Cayman Islands. It is a tremendous honour. It is an experience of a lifetime,” Morgan said of the experience. “To be able to be able to bear the flag of the Cayman Islands at a meet of such a magnitude is a great, great thing.”

Members of the Cayman Islands delegation before the opening ceremony.

After a 338-day journey across the Commonwealth, which included a tour of all three Cayman Islands, the Queen’s Baton arrived in Carrara Stadium. Passed from the legendary hands of Susie O’Neill to Brad McGee, Kurt Fearnley, Liz Ellis, Brent Livermore and Sally Pearson, the Queen’s Message, placed inside the baton before it started its journey, was read to mark the opening of the XXI Commonwealth Games.

The Prince of Wales read the message on behalf of his mother. “Over the years, these friendly games have shown the potential of the Commonwealth to connect people of different backgrounds and nationalities…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,” stated Prince Charles.

Former Australia swimmer Susie O’Neill arrives with the Queen’s Baton.

The Cayman Islands has 21 athletes competing across seven sports for the Cayman Islands. Team Cayman will feature in athletics (track and field), boxing, cycling, gymnastics, shooting, squash, and swimming.

Swimmers Lauren Hew, Alison Jackson, and Iain McCallum are the first to compete. They will take to the pool at the outdoor Optus Aquatic Centre Thursday morning (Wednesday night in the Cayman Islands. Hew and Jackson will swim in the preliminaries of the Women’s 200m freestyle, while McCallum competes in the preliminaries of the Men’s 50m butterfly.

Also on the first day of competition, Cayman’s squash players will feature in the opening rounds of the men’s and women’s singles competition.

CaymanSportsBuzz.com will have continued coverage from Gold Coast until the Games close on 15 April.

More photos to follow on Facebook.

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