|The V Games, now renamed to include Commonwealth in the title for the first time, truly placed Vancouver on a world stage. The ‘Miracle Mile’, as it became dubbed, 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 globe for the first time.
Some 24 nations sent a total of 662 athletes and 127 officials to the Vancouver Games. Nations winning medals at the Games included England, Australia, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, Trinidad, Northern Ireland, North and South Rhodesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Wales, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Uganda, Barbados and British Guiana.
Nine sports were featured in the Auckland Games – track and field, boxing, cycling, fencing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.
The opening ceremony at Eden Park was attended by 40,000 spectators, whilst nearly 250,000 people attended the Auckland Games as event spectators – a phenomenal audience given the remoteness of New Zealand in 1950.
Twelve countries sent a total of 495 male and 95 female competitors to Auckland, whilst debutant nations included Malaysia and Nigeria.
Nine sports featured at the Auckland Games – track and field, boxing, cycling, fencing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.