The World's Most Watched Sporting EventsAugust 01, 2014
Glasgow, a charming metropolis in Scotland, plays host to athletes from 53 countries. If you've been following the Olympic Games and nothing else, then you might not have heard about the Commonwealth Games. For teams which are once part of the British Empire, this IS their Olympics. The opening ceremonny just took place at Celtic Park, topbilled by a 100-meter screen. A brilliant idea by the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland, as more spectators got a better picture of the happenings during the opening ceremony. But everyone was looking forward to the fireworks.
The plan is which one has the most fishes
The idea of having a competition among Commonwealth of Nations was first brought up by John Astley Cooper in 1891. But what he had in mind was a fishing contest, unaware that this would make an impact. (Nineteenth century was reeling from conflicts, mostly in the continent. so several days of goodwill was most welcome.) On the other side of the channel, Pierre de Coubertin was thinking of the same thing. The modern Olympic Games was launched in 1896, but this wasn't the end for the John Astley Cooper Committees.
In 1911, the Festival of Nations was held at the Crystal Palace in Palace. It was a celebration of the coronation of George V, an auspicious moment for those who want to make the Commonwealth Games happen. If not for the First World War, then the first edition took place earlier. Better late than never.
Being the largest isn't bad at all
The twentieth edition of the quadrennial competition saw the Australian swimming team winning 19 out of the 44 gold medals at stake. This was a turnaround from the 2012 Summer Olympics, where they have only one gold to show off. Fans believe this bodes well for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Commonwealth Games are the fourth largest multi-sports event in the world, after the Olympic Games, the Asian Games, and the Maccabiah Games. But it's not one of the world's most watched events. (Don't be surprised, as not all countries can't play lawn bowls.) So you're wondering which is which. Here they are:
1. FIFA World Cup. Everyone plays football, which is why the qualification phase takes three years. It's hard to find someone who don't like it, the reason why the tournament lasts thrity one days or more. For the 2014 event, several games were among the most-watched, with an estimated 34.7 million Germans witnessing their national team beat Argentina in the finals. End of argument.
2. Olympic Games. The decision of the International Olympic Committee to place the Summer and Winter Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years means there's a huge market for this event. For most athletes, to represent their respective countries in this competition is considered the highest honour. Fame and riches follow.
3. Cricket World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar and Glenn McGrath may not ring a bell to those who don't follow cricket, but they're the Lebron James and Kobe Bryant with a bat. Only fourteen teams may have competed in the 2011 World Cup, which India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh cohosted, but the number could be deceiving.
4. Super Bowl. The list of performing artists in the halftime shows said it all.
5. Monaco Grand Prix. First held in 1929, the circuit became prestigious due to the location. Princess Grace, remember?
So which one is your favourite?
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