I don’t think there’s a better place in Australia to hold the Commonwealth Games than the Gold Coast. Of course, I think the Gold Coast is the best place in Australia to live.
It’s not big enough to host something on the scale of the Olympic Games, but the Commonwealth Games is of a good enough size for the city to cope. It’s enough of a size to bring exciting new development to the region without it destroying it.
The Gold Coast would have to be paradise for many of the athletes coming to train and compete.
Not to mention their support teams and all those who want to come to the Commonwealth Games just to see some of the best athletes in the world compete.
A little more about the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast
The Commonwealth Games are on 4th – 15th April 2018, giving you plenty of time to plan your trip to the Gold Coast for it and me to get into shape to represent in it!!! It’s the fifth time Australia has hosted the games and the first time a city that is not a capital is hosting it!
Over 6,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries will participate in the games.
The Gold Coast is not too chaotic, it’s easy to get around, public transport is good and developing and because it’s one of the biggest tourist destinations in Australia, facilities are excellent.
There is plenty for people to do outside of watching the Games. It is one of our favourite regions in Australia for its stunning coastline, serene hinterland, vibrant yet laidback outdoor lifestyle, and emerging food and craft brew scene.
Plus, Queensland is a state known for producing high-class athletes. It’s got a climate and lifestyle that encourages it!
My Commonwealth Games experience
In case you missed the fun on social media and YouTube, I recently competed in a mock Commonwealth Games event, “Go for Gold” against YouTube sensations from Malaysia, Singapore and India. I competed the day after flying in from Denver. Nothing like doing the 100m hurdles for the first time in your life under the influence of jet lag.
My best friend, Bec came along as my ‘manager’ and support team to help me film video and take photos.
We had so much fun hanging out together again. When I first started travelling, Bec was by my side getting into all sorts of mischief with me. It was awesome to have an adventurous experience with her again and we laughed a lot!
You can watch it all here:
Our Go For Gold experience was hosted by Tourism Queensland with the intention to showcase our extraordinary athletic ability the Commonwealth Games experience on the Gold Coast. You know we love this area so much and highly recommend you visit at any time.
You know we love this area so much and highly recommend you visit at any time.
But, why not combine it with the Commonwealth Games?
My Commonwealth Games Go for Gold competitors
I was competing against Reuben from Malaysia and JinnyBoyTv. I think they cheated a bit with the sometimes subbing in of Jin for events!! They had quite the camera crew with them for the event filming, and they were the loveliest sweetest young men. It was fascinating watching them running around to get the right shots. Man, I’d love to travel with my own camera crew.
The super sweet Audrey from Singapore and Wah! Banana. Ling and Jason were on her production crew and were awesome peeps. They even roped me into cameo on their video:
Gautam, a famous sports commentator from India was a lot of fun and discovered an incredible talent for lawn bowls. I think we’ll be seeing him represent India in this event at the Commonwealth Games 2018.
Here are a few photos from the event and what we got up to
Opening Ceremony at Skypoint
One of the best views to have of the Gold coast is from the Sky Point bar and restaurant – the highest residential building…. you have an unobstructed view of the Gold Coast stretch of beach and over to the gorgeous hinterland. Sara Carrigan an Australian professional cyclist and gold medal winner at Athens 2004, 2006 Comm Games medallist, gave an opening speech.
We also met Borobi the koala mascot for the Commonwealth Games 2018.
It was quite the honour to walk into the ceremony in my Aussie tracksuit to the Aussie anthem and waving the flag. Never thought that would happen to me!
Athletics – Griffith University
We headed down to Griffith University for the track and field events. We had several of the students come down to demonstrate how to do these events and look good. I’m afraid I could not perfect the look good part.
Sharon Hannan coach of Sally Pearson – Olympic gold medallist in the hurdles also came to coach us through. She coached Sally to gold and now heads up the athletics division at the University.
We participated in the 100m hurdles, the high jump, shot put long jump and 100 metre sprint. Events I have not done since I was in high school over 20 years ago!
Lawn Bowls is an Australian sport traditional played by the older generation. But, the younger folk are embracing it lately, especially barefoot bowls of a Sunday afternoon.
The Australian Open was happening while we were there with over 4000 bowlers from around the world compete at 14 clubs on the Goldie for 225,000 in prize money.
Mark Casey – current Australian jackaroo, 2006 Commonwealth games gold medallist Kelsey Cottrell – current Australian jackaroo, youngest ever Australian rep at 15 years of age taught us how to play the game.
I was nailing it in the warm up, but on my first go in the actual game did the worst gutter ball ever – on Facebook Live and so knocked myself out down to third place.
Let’s face it, I was never going to win this one! I did better than I thought and walked away with a third. Table tennis is always a lot of fun.
What a great way to start the day down on Kurrawa on Broadbeach. the place to play beach volleyball on the Gold Coast. It wasn’t the best weather but still we had a lot of fun.
Brett Richardson, an Australian national beach volleyball champion led us through a warm up and how to play the game. As he said to me, “Gold Coast is the perfect place to host the first ever beach volleyball in the Commonwealth Games. The Gold Coast is an amazing location for athletes to train and prepare.
The event will be held at Coolangatta Beach (one of our favourites).
Going into the Badminton I was thinking of pulling out. It was day 2, my body was aching after the previous day’s activities and the morning’s volleyball and the jet lag was moving in fast. But, I showed up and played and ended up having the most fun out of all the competitions. I love playing tennis so this brought me back to days as a child on the court. I tend to hit hard and wild shots that go out of the tennis courts, I could hit those shots in badminton and they wouldn’t go out. I loved it!
Rosy Yu – Olympic gold medallist Ricky Yu former national coach, were the sweetest people and coached us through it. Ricky took me off during half time to show me how to defeat my opponent and gave me a big pump up talk Except my opponent must have been listening as he did what the coach told me to do and beat me!! lol.
We couldn’t play at the Kurrawa parklands, which will be the location for the games. It was cancelled due to weather and we moved to Tallebudgera Creek indoor centre. Talle is one of my favourite places on the Gold Coast and close to our home so Craig and the girls came to watch me. They even had a little game themselves.
The swimming and diving
It was freezing at this stage so no one was overly keen to do the swimming and diving. It was the last event so we were exhausted and ready to get it over with. I was dreading the diving the entire competition, but it ended up being a lot of fun. It was held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, which is where the Commonwealth Games will be held.
Diver Dominic Bedggood gold medallist at 2014 Commonwealth games arrived to coach us through the diving. He is also participating in Rio Olympics so it was a thrill to meet him. He was sooooo sweet. I was so impressed with his good nature and how supportive and encouraging he was.
We got two dives each and Audrey from Singapore just nailed it.
The last event was the swimming and I felt the pressure for this one. Everyone expected the Aussie to take home this event. I was really worried I didn’t have what it took to bring it home. Ryan Fisher a professional triathlete and gun swimmer who is also going to Rio ‘16 arrived to coach us. He was also super sweet. We decided the wed race against him during the first race, and the second would be the competition lap. I was going to hold back and take it easy, but I thought why not just go for gold. I’m racing against an Olympic athlete. Give it a go.
His tip was because it was a 25-metre race to breathe as less as possible so you don’t slow down. So I breathed as less as possible. He, of course ,smashed us but I came in after at least a body in front of the others. It was the most thrilling moment of my life especially when the judges called that as being the final race. I think they knew I could not back up.
So I won! (technically Ryan did, but I won the Gold for our special competition! My only Gold for the event and thank god it was for the swimming.
It was a brilliant way to end an extremely fun, yet exhausting competition.
The crew from Banana Life who put together the event finished it with an awesome Closing Ceremony (If you’re into music, two of the Banana Life crew – who were so sweet and supportive, Sam and Andy are part of a group currently rocking Triple J – The Belligerents. They’ll be touring the US soon so check them out! Tell them we said hey.)
The ceremony was complete with medals, podium, flowers, flag waving and speeches. Congrats to Reuben from Malaysia for his Gold!I managed to grab a bronze medal! Yay!
The only thing left to do after that was to enjoy dinner and drinks with everyone. It was a cool crew and we all got along well. I think we should do the same next year. I’m going to start training now.
Where to stay on the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games
We stayed at Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino for our experience at the Go for Gold competition. I really liked it Jupiter’s. It’s set on its own tropical island – Broadbeach Island – seven acres of landscaped gardens with views overlooking Broadbeach. They have a $345 million refurbishment plan with a launch date just prior to the Commonwealth Games.
We stayed in one of the refurb rooms and loved it. I especially loved how the curtains and blinds automatically opened up to the show you the view when you walked in the door. I’ve never had that happen to me before.
Plus, Jupiter’s has many restaurants to choose from, all of which are of exceptional quality. The Garden Kitchen and Bar is quite new but is a restaurant we’ve been to several times since opening. And, of course, you have the casino. I’m not a fan of gambling, but some people may find it fun.
If you’re looking for other places to stay on the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games, we have a list for you to choose from here.
You can see more about why the Gold Coast is a great place to come for the Commonwealth Games here (I give my tips in this video)