Wednesday sees the opening ceremony of the 20th Commonwealth, or ‘Friendly’ Games, bringing together thousands of athletes, volunteers and spectators for a festival of sport and culture.
Our A-Z guide will give you the rundown on everything you need to know, from which athletes to watch to details of the best venue makeovers and how you can get involved.
A is for Athlete’s Village
A purpose-built, low carbon village in Glasgow’s East End will be home to the 6,500 competing athletes in this year’s Games. It’s taken over four years to build, with work commencing in August 2009. Take a look inside…
B is for Bradley Wiggins
Having missed out on a spot in Team Sky’s Tour de France line-up, Sir Wiggins has his sights set on a world record in the Games’ track cycling event on Friday. Watch this space…
C is for Clyde
D is for Darth Vader
We bet you didn’t know that Darth Vader himself has competed in the Commonwealth Games. Well, actor Dave Prowse anyway. He competed in the 1962 games as a weightlifter.
E is for Energy Drink
All those athletes will need a lot of sports drinks to fuel their gold medal hopes. Which is good news for Gatorade, the Official Sports Drink of the 2014 Games. If you fancy yourself as an elite athlete, stock up here.
F is for Farah
Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah is competing in both the 5,000m and the 10,000m races on Sunday despite concerns that illness might stop him participating. And he’s promised to perform a Highland jig on the podium if he’s successful, to follow on from his famous “Mobot” celebration at the Olympics. We’ll hold you to that promise, Mo…
G is for Glasgow
The host city of the 2014 Games, Glasgow is the hub of the action, home to the majority of the sporting events as well as the legendary opening and closing ceremonies. It’s the first time the Games have been hosted in Glasgow, although it’s the third time they’ve visited Scotland, with Edinburgh playing host in 1970 and 1986. Get the lowdown on what’s going on at glasgow2014.com and don’t forget to follow #glasgow2014 for updates!
H is for Hampden Park
Glasgow’s famous Hampden Park was once the world’s largest stadium and it’s been transformed to play host to the track and field athletics competitions as well as the closing ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. See the stunning transformation here…
I is for Ibrox Stadium
The stadium will play host to Rugby Sevens. The sport is set to make its Olympic debut in Rio in 2016, so all eyes will on the Commonwealth Games contest. 16 teams will play 45 14-minute games on Sunday in an attempt to win the single coveted gold.
J is for Judo
Glasgow 2014 marks the return of the sport to the Commonwealth Games schedule for the first time in 12 years. Tune in on Saturday to watch the action unfold.
K is for Kelvingrove Bandstand
Where you can watch all the sporting action live on big screens as well as an eclectic mix of music, comedy, art, storytelling and film. Find out more about what’s on here.
L is for Littlefish
Well, he swims like one anyway. Olympic silver medallist and team GB’s top swimmer Michael Jamieson will compete in his home country on Thursday in the men’s 200m breaststroke. The Scottish 25-year-old is the fastest Commonwealth swimmer in this event and has his sights set on a gold medal AND a world record.
M is for Merchandise
N is for Nicola Adams
Olympic champion Adams is hoping to be the first woman to win Commonwealth gold for women’s boxing as the sport makes its Commonwealth Games debut. She was the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold in the London 2012 Olympics, so her odds look good…
O is for Opening Ceremony
Glasgow 2014 begins with the opening ceremony in Celtic Park featuring 4,500 athletes from the competing nations and a message from the Queen herself. Plans for the ceremony ran into a spot of trouble over the weekend when organisers realised they’d failed to get permission to use Calvin Harris hit Feel So Close, which dancers had been rehearsing to for over six months. But the DJ and producer has since given the green light for his track to be used. Phew.
P is for Para-Sports
Glasgow 2014 will see the biggest number of para-sport events in the history of the Games- 22 events in total, including athletics, swimming, power lifting, lawn bowls and track cycling. Find out more here.
Q is for the Queen’s Baton Relay
The Queen’s Baton Relay has been the curtain-raiser of the Commonwealth Games since 1958. This year’s was launched at Buckingham Palace on 9th October 2013, when Her Majesty placed a message to the Commonwealth inside the baton which has since travelled across Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean before returning to Glasgow in time for the Games. Watch the highlights below…
R is for Robbie Renwick
The Scot will defend his gold-medal title from Delhi four years ago in the men’s 200m freestyle swimming event, hoping that local support will help him triumph again.
S is for Six
The number of teams that have attended every Commonwealth Games to date… Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.
T is for Triathlon
The mixed relay triathlon is making its Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow 2014. The relay will feature national teams of two men and two women, and will see the formidable Brownlee brothers take the floor in Strathclyde country park, while Welsh hopeful Helen Jenkins has pulled out at the eleventh hour due to injury.
U is for Unicef
Unicef are working in partnership with this year’s Commonwealth Games to save and change children’s lives. Find out how you can get involved by donating, fundraising or (if you’re feeling brave) abseiling here.
V is for Volunteers
Hundreds of volunteers have flocked to Glasgow ahead of the Games. Nicknamed ‘Clyde-siders’, they will take on roles such as spectator services, press operations and transport. They will also be stationed at Glasgow airport to meet and greet athletes as they arrive.
W is for Winning
Did you know Australia have won the most medals in the history of the Games, a whopping 2,080? England come in second with a total of 1,383 and Canada have stacked up 1,388 golds to date.
X is for XX
The Roman numeral for 20, which marks the fact that this year’s Commonwealth Games is the 20th since the competition assumed its current name in Canada in 1978 (the Games had previously been titled the British Empire Games, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and the British Commonwealth Games).
Y is for You
Z is for Zoe Smith
England’s weightlifting champion Smith, who won bronze in the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi, is competing on Saturday despite almost quitting the sport after a series of injuries. It’s her first major competition since the European Championships in 2012 and she’s up against Commonwealth legend Michaela Breeze.