On the final day of the XXII Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin declared that history making Birmingham 2022 has been a catalyst for positive change.
Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “We are emerging from one of the most challenging periods in modern history, where the Covid-19 pandemic has kept us apart.
“Birmingham 2022 proved to be a special moment when we reunited, when the power of sport to connect us came into sharp focus.
“Not only have we witnessed some iconic sporting moments, we’ve also enjoyed the warmest of welcomes from the people of Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond who have made the Games so much more than just a sporting competition.
“Birmingham has put on a Commonwealth Games unlike any we’ve seen before. The passionate support across all 19 sports created an atmosphere which spurred our Commonwealth athletes onto new heights.
“Thank you to Birmingham for everything you have done to welcome the Commonwealth with pride, humanity and open arms.
“What a bold, buzzing and brilliant city.”
Birmingham 2022 has set a new benchmark for Commonwealth sport.
It was the first time more medals have been awarded to women than men, the largest ever integrated para programme and the most sustainable Commonwealth Games ever hosted.
With 43 nations or territories winning medals equalling the Gold Coast Games in 2018 it also saw a first as Niue won their first ever Commonwealth Games medal.
Boxer Duken Tutakitoa-Williams won bronze in the 86-92kg category.
It was also the first major multi-sport event to be hosted with packed stadia and arenas since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Commonwealth Games Federation CEO, Katie Sadlier said: “The summer of 2022 will go down in history as a major moment for women’s sport.
“The Commonwealth Games can take great pride in the role it played in that as hockey, cricket and netball teams battled it out for gold on Super Sunday in front of packed stadia and arenas.
“The future is bright for Commonwealth sport, that is clear from the brilliant spectacle we’ve witnessed over the past 11 days.
“As the focus turns to Victoria 2026, the Commonwealth Sport Movement has emerged stronger than ever thanks to the outstanding contribution of Birmingham 2022.”
Organised and delivered in just four and a half years, Birmingham 2022 transformed the city.
While 30,000 fans packed out the spectacular Alexander Stadium for 12 consecutive athletics sessions, more than 1.5 million fans filled venues across the region for 11 days of competition, creating an electric atmosphere for athletes.
John Crabtree, Chair of Birmingham 2022, said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has been an incredibly successful event, from the packed venues to the bustling city squares, from the warm welcome to the outpouring of pride and joy across the city and region.
“We were always confident that people across Birmingham and the West Midlands would embrace the Games, but the reaction has surpassed even our expectations.
“The success of Birmingham 2022 is down to the partners and supporters, but principally the thousands of people, our workforce, volunteers and every spectator.
“The work starts now to ensure that the benefits of the ‘Games for Everyone’ reach far and wide.”
The Games will leave a lasting impact too. 40,000 jobs and volunteering opportunities have been created and £38 million of investment to help those who need the most support to get physically active is in place.
A further £21 million of government investment will help cement the profile of the city and region as a destination of choice which the Commonwealth Games platform has helped create.
As the Commonwealth Games 2022 starts to wind down eyes will start to turn to Victoria, Australia and the 2026 games.