|The VI Games marked the biggest sporting event ever held in Wales to date. Cardiff had to wait 12 years longer than originally scheduled to become host of the Games, as the 1946 event was cancelled because of World War II.
England’s famed middle distance runners, Roger Bannister and Chris Chattaway, were handed the honour of taking the Queen’s Baton from Buckingham Palace on the first stage of its journey to Wales.
The Cardiff Games were to be South Africa’s last until their post-apartheid return to the Games in 1994. A number of objections against South Africa took place in Cardiff because their team had been selected on the basis of race and colour rather than ability. South Africa subsequently withdrew from the Commonwealth in 1961 for 30 years.
Thirty-five nations sent a total of 1,130 athletes and 228 officials to the Cardiff Games and 23 countries and dependencies won medals, including, for the first time, Singapore, Ghana, Kenya and the Isle of Man.
Nine sports were featured in the Cardiff Games – athletics, boxing, cycling, fencing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.