1938 Opening Ceremony

1938 Opening Ceremony
Cinesound Movietone Productions
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This newsreel features footage of the opening ceremony of the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney. These were the third Empire Games and the first to be held in the southern hemisphere.

They were timed to coincide with 150 years since British settlement in Australia and 40,000 spectators watched the opening ceremony at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Fifteen countries participated, including Fiji and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for the first time. There were 464 athletes competing in seven events: athletics, boxing, cycling, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming, diving and wrestling.

Australia was the most successful nation, winning 25 gold, 19 silver and 22 bronze medals. Australian Decima Norman was the outstanding athlete with five gold medals. Her success was remembered over 40 years later when she was selected as the first carrier of the Queen's Baton for the 1982 Games.