Xth British Commonwealth Games 1974

Cover of The Press Games ReviewThe 1974 British Commonwealth Games were known as the Friendly Games. They took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, from 24 January to 2 February 1974.

Sports

1,276 athletes from 38 countries took part in athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, lawn bowls, shooting, swimming and diving, weightlifting and wrestling.

Medals and records

New Zealand won a total of 35 medals - nine gold, eight silver and 18 bronze.

New Zealander Dick Tayler won the 10,000 metre race on the opening day. Don Quarrie from Jamaica won two sprint titles.

On the closing day Tanzania’s Filbert Bayi won the 1500 metres after an epic battle with New Zealand’s John Walker – both men broke the world record. The national records of five countries – Tanzania, Kenya, Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand – were all broken in this race.

Christchurch swimmer Jaynie Parkhouse won the 800-metre freestyle gold medal.

QEII Recreation and Sport Centre

The main venue was Queen Elizabeth II Park, also known as QEII Park. The multi-use stadium was purpose-built for the Games. It had a capacity of 25,000 and for the games a temporary western stand took its capacity to 35,000. As well as the running track, it housed a public swimming and diving pool.

After the Commonwealth Games, QEII played host to numerous sporting events and concerts, and was a popular facility.

The QEII Park Recreation and Sport Centre were extensively damaged in the 22 February 2011 earthquake and demolished in August 2012. The farewell event to the stadium recalled the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

Work on a new recreation and sport centre on the QEII site began in January 2017.

Xth British Commonwealth Games 1974 resources

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Internet Gateway

* 1974 British Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games Federation page on the 1974 Games, including results by sports and country, records, photos, and videos.
* Commonwealth Games collection online
Commonwealth Games items in the collection of Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand.
* Commonwealth Games photographs
Photos on Flickr of the 1974 Commonwealth Games by photographer Raymond Morris.
* Games 74 - Part 1
Part 1 of 5. New Zealand National Film Unit presents GAMES 74 Official Film of the Xth British Commonwealth Games, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1974.
* Games 74 - Part 2
Part 2 of 5. New Zealand National Film Unit presents GAMES 74 Official Film of the Xth British Commonwealth Games, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1974.
* Games 74 - Part 3
Part 3 of 5. New Zealand National Film Unit presents GAMES 74 Official Film of the Xth British Commonwealth Games, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1974.
* Games 74 - Part 4
Part 4 of 5. New Zealand National Film Unit presents GAMES 74 Official Film of the Xth British Commonwealth Games, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1974.
* Games 74 - Part 5
Part 5 of 5. New Zealand National Film Unit presents GAMES 74 Official Film of the Xth British Commonwealth Games, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1974.
* Join together song, 1974 Commonwealth Games
Information on the anthem by Steve Allen for the 10th Commonwealth Games, held in Christchurch 1974.
* NZ Design Icons: 1974 Commonwealth Games
Design Assembly article by Lindsay Yee on the logo for the 1974 Commonwealth Games. It was designed by Wellington designer Colin Simon.
* The Games Affair
Set amidst the 'friendly' 1974 Commonwealth Games, The Games Affair was a thriller fantasy series for children. NZ On Screen.
* Xth Commonwealth Games 1974 and QEII Park
A DigitalNZ set of images relating to the Commonwealth Games in 1974.

Games 74

Watch the first of seven clips from this full length film at NZ On Screen.

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