On Wednesday, the road to glory for 22-member of Indian contingent will officially be underway at the Carrara stadium as Gold Coast will welcome 71 nations in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. With 64 medals (15 gold, 30 silver, 19 bronze to be precise) last time around in Glasgow, India will be looking to beat their overall best of 101 medals grabbed in the 2010 New Delhi games at Gold Coast. With Australia being the hosts, the summertime vibrant vibes are likely to paint vivid pictures on the opening ceremony.

The arena will be revamped into a beach with performers gracing the sage as surfers. Singers Delta Goodrem and Dami Im will take centre stage in the opening ceremonies along with some blistering lighting effects supporting every act. The 2018 Commonwealth opening ceremony will be attended by 35,000 people including the likes of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall — Camilla along with Prince Edward, who is the Commonwealth Games Federation’s vice-patron. The 21st edition of Commonwealth Games has also invited Hollywood upper echelons and famous actors such as Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth, Miranda Kerr, Greg Norman and Mick Fanning.

Here are Commonwealth Games 2018, Opening ceremony Highlights:

18:10 PM IST:  “It gives me great pleasure to declare the 2018 Commonwealth Games open,” says Prince Charles as he declares the Commonwealth Games 2018 Gold Coast open. The Commonwealth Gmaes in Gold Coast were off to a spectacular start with a host of cultural performances that left the audiences in awe of the hosts. 

18: 05 PM IST: Kurt Fearnley hands the Baton to Netballer Liz Ellis who gives it to hockey star Brent Livermore. Sally Pearson receives the Queen’s Baton from Brent Livermore. She hands it further to Prince Charles who will now declare the Games open. 

18:00 PM IST: Peter Beattie, Chairman of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation: Beautiful one day, perfect the next. Welcome to Australia, welcome to Queensland, and welcome to the Gold Coast. Queen’s Baton arrives at the Carrara Stadium. Former Australian swimmer Susie O’Neill is the baton bearer.

17:40 PM IST: Athletes are now carrying the Commonwealth Games Federation (CWGF) flag at the Carrara Stadium as the audience and the dignitaries watch in awe. 

The Carrara Stadium looks spectacular

17:30 PM IST: With all the athletes at the Carrara stadium now, artists are performing next. Australian singer Katie Noonan is performing now. The Carrara Stadium is dipped in celebrations as 4500 athletes from across 71 nations will perform at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. 

17: 20 PM IST: Tuvalu with just seven athletes walk in at the Opening ceremony in Gold Coast. Vanuatu are the next ones to follow. Australia are the last ones to come in. The host nations in the green and yellow take the centre stage amid heavy applauds from the audience. Australian conclude the Parade of nations. 

17:12 PM IST: After St Vincent, the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands. The island nations of Fiji and Kiribati walk in. 

17:05 PM IST: Athletes from the Caribbean nations Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados’ athletes are the next ones to walk at the opening ceremony. 

16:57 PM IST: Asian countries start with Bangladesh the first nation to walk in, followed by India who are led by badminton ace PV Sindhu. India will participate in 17 sports in total and have strong chances of bagging medals in badminton, shooting and wrestling. India also are a strong hockey nation and will aim to bag the top prize in the sport. India are followed by the other Asian countries, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

4:55 PM IST: Seychelles are next team to walk in the Nations Parade. Seychelles hold the record for the most Commonwealth Games medals (6) without securing gold. Gambia are the next ones to follow with the smallest pack of athletes at 6. 

4:50 PM IST: After European nations, African nations Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, The Gambia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia are all done. 

4: 45 PM IST: Namibia with 28 athletes at Gold Coast are followed by Nigeria who are a great track nation with a number of solid athletes. Rwanda who made their Commonwealth Games debut in Delhi in 2009 are the next ones to walk in. 

4:42 PM IST: Nigeria and Cameroon start the parade for the African nations followed with Ghana. With 57 medals in total, Ghana is one of the most successful teams from Africa.Kenya are the next ones to walk in, a majority of gold medals in boxing and athletics the Kenyan team will aim to repeat their previous heroics in Gold Coast.

4:40 PM IST: Northern Ireland walks in Greens. A great group of athletes consisting of 88 members. They are a strong boxing and shooting team and will look for golds there. Wales are the next team to follow in rainbow colours, the Wales contingent is all set to make the most of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

4: 35 PM IST: Gibraltar is the next nation, a total of 22 athletes playing across 7 sporting events. They will look to open their medal tally this year. 

4:30 pm IST: The Parade of the nations is started by team Scotland followed by England as they walk in their white and red. England has been one of the most consistent performers in the competition and has hosted the Commonwealth Games twice. 

4: 25 PM IST: Australian Defence Force after hosting the Australian singer Ricki-Lee Coulter who is singing Technicolour Love after Damien Rider arrives with the Queen’s Baton Relay.

4: 15 PM IST: After Australia’s national anthem, the fans are now requested to be seated. The opening ceremony perfectly captures the essence of Australian culture and the Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile we have an update from the Indian contingent where PV Sindhu is all dressed and ready to lead team India in the ‘Nations Parade.’

Ted Williams’ welcome speech at the CWG 2018 opening ceremony at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast: The Welcome to Country is a customary way to begin an event or gathering, and is performed by Traditional Custodians of the lands on which the event or gathering happens. This is usually done by an Elder, and takes the form of their choosing, be it a ceremony, a dance, a song or a speech. A Welcome to Country honours the customs of Traditional Custodians, allowing them to formally welcome visitors to their Traditional Lands and give their blessing to an activity, event or visit. The inclusion of these welcomes is a way in which valuing and respecting appropriate Indigenous ceremonies lead to an increase in the understanding and mutual respect for the cultural practices of Indigenous Australians through observation of protocols and a sharing in cultural practice. The resonance of these traditional welcomes is that they place great value in such things as the recognition of Indigenous people as the First Australians, the promotion of awareness of the history and the cultures of Indigenous Australians and their contributions to our nation, and formal acknowledgement of their ongoing connection to the land. A Welcome to Country is a meaningful occurrence that allows everyone to be part of Australia’s Reconciliation journey.

4:07 PM IST: The Prince of Wales along with the Duchess of Cornwall grace the event are welcomed with loud cheers from the crowd. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), The Honourable Peter Beattie AC, the Chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and Sam Coffa AM, President of Commonwealth Games Australia are some of the dignitaries at the event. 

4:05 PM IST: After a visual earth tour, didgeridoo performance takes the stage as the local Aussie dancers treat the fans with their culture. Some beautiful visuals being played out.  Hip hop artist Mau Power and pop star Christine Anaud take the stage after William Barton played the didgeridoo from the peak of the Q1 skyscraper.

4:00 PM IST: The opening ceremony is underway in Gold Coast now with the presenter in the middle of the arena sharing a beautiful message of unity while standing with a small blue globe in his hand. ‘Hello Earth’ is the theme of the ceremony and it begins with a fantastic light show. 

3:55 PM IST: The heir to the British throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are on the list of Royal guests present at the opening ceremony. Prince will open the Commonwealth Games on the behalf of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

3:25 PM IST: India will head into the commonwealth as one of the strongest contenders for gold medals. Both the men’s and the women’s hockey team are the favourites for the top prize in their respective categories. India’s badminton team is also one of the strongest in past few years with the likes of Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal in the ranks.

3:15  PM IST: Team India is all set to begin its quest for Gold in the 21st CWG in Gold Coast, Australia. Badminton star and Rio Olympic silver medallist  PV Sindhu will lead the Indian contingent which is likely to not have all the players as many of them will travel to Australia later due to their games in the later half of the competition.

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