In a Commonwealth Games first Team Scotland was led out by two flagbearers, Kirsty Gilmour and Micky Yule, as the 22nd Commonwealth Games got underway in Birmingham with a spectacular Opening Ceremony.
The ceremony, produced by creator of the Peaky Blinders, Steven Knight, began with a call for unity: “In times of darkness, we carry a dream of light that calls us all to gather.”
Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafza spoke passionately about her experiences in the city of Birmingham, having been brought to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after she was shot in the head in Pakistan for demanding the right to education. Her speech, emphasising the right of every child to have the chance to fulfil their potential, was loudly applauded by the 30,000-strong crowd inside the Alexander Stadium.
Perhaps the most eye-catching moment was the entrance of a giant mechanical bull, as the ceremony celebrated the cultural diversity of both Birmingham and the Commonwealth.
The parade of nations concluded with the home nations as Northern Ireland Scotland and Wales were followed by England – last into the stadium as Games hosts. Double Commonwealth medallist, Kirsty Gilmour and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games medallist Micky Yule proudly led in Team Scotland to rapturous applause.
In Commonwealth Games tradition, the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay concluded its journey tonight with diver Tom Daley carrying it into the stadium, passing it on to other England stars such as hockey player Alex Danson and gymnast Max Whitlock, before HRH The Prince of Wales to read out the message it contained from The Queen and declared the 22nd Commonwealth Games open.
The sporting action gets underway at 08:30 with Scotland’s lawn bowlers the first in action. Darren Burnett, Iain McLean and Stewart Anderson kick off their Triples campaign, Dee Hoggan goes in the Singles and both Men’s and Women’s Para-Bowls B6-B8 Pairs, Garry Brown and Kevin Wallace, Rosemary Lenton and Pauline Wilson begin competition.