What did you miss at the opening of the 2022 Commonwealth Games

The 2022 Commonwealth Games were brought to life with a dazzling opening ceremony on Thursday that gave the sporting event a modern touch.
Ten years after the 2012 London Olympics, Birmingham came into the spotlight when Prince Charles declared the Games open.

It was a day filled with all sorts of things: the music took over, human rights activist Malala Yousafzai delivered a moving speech, and earlier Australian athletes had a humorous run-in with royalty.

Fireworks explode at the top of the stage

Fireworks during the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium. Source: Getty / Alex Davidson

This is Australia’s largest contingent for overseas Games – 435 before some late withdrawals – and the team looks poised to surpass the 80 gold medals they won four years ago on the Gold Coast.

Here are the key details of the extravagant opening ceremony that you may have missed.

Grand entry into Australia

The Electric Light Orchestra performed “Don’t Bring Me Down” as the green-weave team became the first nation to enter the arena on Thursday night for Part 22 of the Games.

A crowd of people dressed in green and khaki suits enter the stadium.  The Australian flag is raised high.

Members of the Australian national team enter the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Source: A MONKEY / AP / Aijaz Rahi

Australian flag bearers, ice hockey and squash champions Eddie Okenden and Rachel Greenham were the first athletes to enter Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium when the Commonwealth Games began.

Okenden is in contention for a fourth straight hockey gold medal in Birmingham and has incredibly gone undefeated in his three previous campaigns.

Greenham won eight medals, including two golds, ahead of a record sixth Games performance.

Mad bull

Before the joyous exits of the players, the history of the city, affectionately called Broome, was presented by a 10-meter iron-clad bull, detailed in front of 30,000 spectators.

The ceremony told the story of Stella and the Dreamers, a group of young athletes from across the Commonwealth who explore the history of industrial innovation, struggle, and the success of a working city.

A huge industrial-looking bull stands on two legs.  Under it you can see various flags.

Raging Bull during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022. Source: A MONKEY / Pennsylvania / Tim Good

The bull took five years to create and represented the workers who went on strike for higher wages. During the show, the bull shed the outer layer of skin as a mark of respect for the workmen’s success.

Paying homage to Birmingham’s automotive heritage, locals drove into the arena in 72 cars in red, white and blue to create the Union Jack.

This is how they greeted the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Charles and the Australian Joke

Before the opening ceremony began, Prince Charles met in the village with athletes representing countries from all over the world, including Australia, Scotland and Rwanda.
He even joked with some members of the Australian team that “everyone else is afraid of the Aussies”.

Australian dolphin swimmer Mitch Larkin and diver Melissa Page were among those who were able to speak candidly with the prince.

Malala’s speech

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has paid tribute to Birmingham, a place she calls her “second home”.
Ms Yousafzai, a human rights activist, was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman and spent part of her recovery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

In her speech, she admitted that she had never heard of this city until she moved there and felt the warmth of its inhabitants around her.

British Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai addresses the gathering with a warm speech about Birmingham and the pursuit of dreams. Credits: David Davis/AP

“Birmingham, when I first came to this city, I never heard its name. But I understood it thanks to the doctors and nurses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Through the teachers who inspired me at school, helped my mother learn English. and taught my little brothers how to drive,” she told the audience.

“The young athletes who will compete over the next two weeks represent millions of girls and boys across the Commonwealth.

“Every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential and fulfill their wildest dreams.”

Duran Duran steals the show

The hearings ended in a bang when Duran Duran returned to their hometown with a medley of their greatest hits.

Duran Duran performing on stage in front of confetti

Duran Duran performs the iconic set during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Source: A MONKEY / AP / Kirsty Wigglesworth

The new wave band arguably steal the show as audiences and TV viewers around the world sang along to some of their classics under a fireworks canopy.

This is the start of an 11-day sports festival that brings together some 5,000 athletes from 72 countries competing in 280 events across 19 sports.

With Reuters.