Three inspirational facts about the Commonwealth Games

When it comes to getting fit and healthy, there are few things more welcome than a bit of inspiration and encouragement. Effective inspiration takes a different form for each of us … sometimes it can help to see others do well, while at other times it can be helpful to have a trainer giving us tips along the way.

One thing which can be an inspiration for all of us is an international sporting event. As the Commonwealth Games continue to take place in Glasgow this summer, we take a look at a handful of particular inspirational facts about the history of the games.

1. It is not always a level playing field

When it comes to pitting one country up against another, the playing field is not always level. India, for example, has a population of 1.7 billion people who are eligible to compete for their country at the Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile, Polynesia’s Tuvalu houses just 9,860 potential athletes. While Tuvalu has yet to make an impact on the medals table, their athletes are out there with the best in the world.

In a similar vein, it’s worth noting that the Commonwealth nations vary hugely in size. The largest of the Commonwealth nations is Canada and the smallest is Nauru. Estimates suggest that Nauru could fit into Canada some 475,460 times!

2. Not all competitors are life-long athletes

In perhaps the most inspirational of all Glasgow 2014 facts, taken from Virgin Media’s great infographic on the topic, England is putting forward the biggest underdog at this year’s event. Steve Way, who is competing for England in the marathon event, hasn’t always been a top flight athlete: just a few of years ago he weighed a surprising 16.5st and was smoking 20 cigarettes a day!

Steve has turned his life around since then and is setting his sights firmly on the finish line at this year’s Commonwealth Games. Truly inspirational.

3. Sporting success can bring many rewards

We’ve already mentioned Nauru is the smallest of the Commonwealth nations but despite the South Pacific Island’s small size, it boasts a special success story.

The Nauruan weightlifter Marcus Stephen has seen huge success at the Commonwealth Games, bagging 12 medals in total of which 7 were gold. In addition to the sporting titles and precious metals, Nauru decided to name Stephen as the island’s president to congratulate him on his sporting success – proving that good things do come to those who try their best.

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