1950 - Auckland

The British Empire Games returns after a 12 year break

The Second World War interrupted the staging of the British Empire Games which were scheduled for 1942 and 1946.

Following the war, there were fears that the Games would not be staged again. However, strong enthusiasm from the majority of the Commonwealth nations allowed the Games to resurface in Auckland in 1950 under the new name of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

The change in name was made in order to recognise the many countries and dominions that had been able to claim their independence from Britain.

New Zealand’s largest city were determined to make the fourth Games a spectacular occasion following the widespread devastation of the world war and the Commonwealth nations were not disappointed by the fantastic spectacle that took place.

The opening ceremony at magnificent Eden Park was attended by a 40,000 strong crowd while almost 250,000 people attended the Games, paying out a total of £89,435 as event spectators.

The atmosphere of the Opening Ceremony is best described in this statement from the Official Record of the Games: "The entrace of the gladiators in the days of ancient Athens and ancient Rome could not have been more impressive than was that Parade at Eden park on the afternoon of February 4, 1950."

The 1950 Auckland Games gave the British Empire Games a much needed lift and the host nation produced a fantastic performance to finish in third place on the medal table.

Australia once again finished ahead of rivals England.

Dates Games held: February 4-11

Number of nations represented: 12

Number of competitors: 590

Number of medals awarded: 257

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