From playing Didgeridoo to a strong message of unity, the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games started with a heavy downpour that lashed the 35,000 crowd at Carrara Stadium at Australia's Gold Coast on Wednesday. The games will go on from April 5 to April 15 with 71 nations and territories participating in the Queensland - from the tiny South Pacific island of Niue to the world's largest democratic country, India.
Here are the highlights from the opening ceremony that you can catch up with:
- The ceremony began with a message on the screen that read: "Welcome to the oldest living culture on Earth."
- Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull took to the stage and were joined by Louis martin, Peter Beattie, Chairman of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee.
- Neill, five-time CWG silver medalist, brought the Queen's baton.
- Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, highlighted the importance of the Commonwealth Games. And the welcome speech was delivered by Peter Beattie, Chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 CWG Corporation.
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- A totem ceremony was then enacted by the performers- the ritual of handing down of the knowledge from the ancestors to the young and future generations. And this was followed by the'Eagle Dance', a dance form of the Saibai Island, which symbolizes the preservation of the tribe and the future generation of the tribe.
- There were 3,800 baton bearers in Australia.
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- The Indian contingent consisting of 200 athletes was led by flag-bearer PV Sindhu, the Rio Olympic silver medalist. Just before 10 minutes of the commonwealth games to start, PM Narendra Modi tweeted-
All the best to the athletes representing India at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games! Our sportspersons have worked tremendously hard and the Games will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talent. Every Indian is cheering for our contingent. #GC2018 @GC2018
For more updates on CWG 2018, stay tuned on our website!