The 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia are officially underway following yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium.

The Games run until April 15, with more than 6,600 athletes and team officials representing 71 Commonwealth nations and territories having descended on the Gold Coast region.

It is set to be Australia’s largest sporting event of the decade and will feature 18 sports and seven para-sports. This year’s Games will see sports such as beach volleyball, para triathlon and women’s rugby sevens make their debut at the event.

For the first time in the event’s history, the Games will also stage an equal number of men’s and women’s medal events.

Yesterday’s opening ceremony celebrated all that is great about the Gold Coast, with spectators inside Carrara Stadium treated to a festival of music, dancing, theatre and more.

The stadium’s capacity has been temporarily increased to 35,000 for the Games. It primarily hosts AFL Aussie rules games but is set to host athletics events during the Games.

The opening ceremony also featured the traditional Parade of Nations, a performance from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Youth Orchestra, a ‘smoking’ ceremony from contemporary Indigenous artist Luther Cora and his family, and the arrival of the Queen’s Baton.

David Grevemberg, CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation, joins the speaker line-up for the 9th annual TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2018 in Manchester, 12-13 June. More information can be found here.

Images: Gold Coast 2018