Edmonton 2022 has unveiled its vision to see each of the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories securing at least one medal at the Games in eight years’ time.
Speaking here at a press briefing to mark the one-year countdown to the date when the Commonwealth Games Federation will announce the 2022 host city at its General Assembly in Auckland, New Zealand, the Canadian bid team outlined its plans for the Games should the city be awarded the event over its only challenger – South African city Durban.
“Today, almost 30 years after we hosted the first Commonwealth Games in Edmonton we feel it is the right time to launch a new vision,” said Edmonton 2022 chairman Reg Milley.
“A vision that will elevate the Commonwealth Games Movement, the Games themselves and the values that they stand for – humanity, equality and destiny.
“Our vision for 2022 is about progress and empowering all 71 Commonwealth Games Associations to achieve sporting success and excellence.
“We want to create opportunities for each association to be competitive, to be stronger, because the stronger we each become, the stronger the Commonwealth Movement will be.
“Our ambition is to have every one of the 71 member nations win at least one medal in 2022 at the Games in Edmonton.
“While it was only around half of the members winning in Glasgow .
“So our vision for 2022 is not only about creating great Games – a really the best Games ever, but also showing that all 71 member countries have more opportunity and are more competitive by the time they get to the 2022 Games in Edmonton.”
A total of 37 countries and territories won medals at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and, overall, 55 have claimed at least one medal since the event started in Canada in 1930 in Hamilton.
This figure includes Zimbabwe and Gambia, who are both no longer members of the Commonwealth.
In total, 19 countries and territories have competed at the Commonwealth Games and never won a medal.
Gibraltar, who made their debut at Cardiff in 1958, have competed in 15 consecutive Games without winning a medal, the longest of any country.
Milley said his team can help to raise the bar for the competing countries through collaborations with both the public and private partners that will be in place years before the Games are due to take place.
He highlighted plans for a Commonwealth Games high performance centre of sporting excellence in Edmonton that can be accessed by all nations, both physically for training and through an online system.
While no budget has been finalised for the facility yet, Milley told insidethegames that Edmonton 2022 is already in talks with the city’s university and sports officials to try to develop the plans further.
He also hopes that global firms will be able to work with Edmonton 2022 to ensure that less developed nations can access the facility and has ideas about a central event that brings people together to train.
Milley also revealed aspirations to have “the most diversified Commonwealth Games workforce in Edmonton” through a knowledge transfer programme that would be available to all Commonwealth nations to enable more territories and countries to be able to host and even co-host future events.
Meanwhile, Candice Stasynec, the director of Edmonton Events, highlighted that much of the stadia needed to host the event is already in place, with only some renovations and construction needed.
Much of the work has already been done ahead of Canada’s hosting of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, for which Edmonton is hosting 11 matches – more than any other Canadian city.
“Edmonton owns and operates many of the venues that will be used in 2022,” said Stasynec.
“We’ve been able to keep those venues up at international standard and we continue to do so with a master plan for the Kinsmen Sports Centre, the Commonwealth Stadium and we are also on the cusp on building a new category B velodrome.
“It’s all looking good for us.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to raise the level but we are in really good shape as we speak.
“We expect extraordinary from ourselves.
“We look forward to being very competitive on this bid.”
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here