Nostalgia: Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh

Australian athletes Ann Karner and Jean Robertstrain on Calton Hill  in July 1970; below, Councillor Cornelius Waugh kicks off a recruitment drive for staff at the 1986 Games
Australian athletes Ann Karner and Jean Robertstrain on Calton Hill in July 1970; below, Councillor Cornelius Waugh kicks off a recruitment drive for staff at the 1986 Games
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IT was July 1970 and Edinburgh had a chance to shine on the world stage as the host city of that year’s Commonwealth Games.

Yet despite huge investment into state-of-the-art facilities, it looks like these Australian athletes, above, were more than happy simply to make the most of the Capital’s historic landmarks when it came to preparing for the competition.

Anne Karner and Jean Roberts are pictured here in an intense training session on Calton Hill, no doubt enjoying the views across the city where they were keen to leave their sporting mark.

All eyes this week have been on Glasgow instead as it is its turn to host the Commonwealth Games – a first for the west coast city. Edinburgh has, of course, held the competition twice.

In February 1986, city councillor Cornelius Waugh kick-started a recruitment drive for that summer’s Commonwealth Games, joining with event organisers to try to rally 1000 people on board, including volunteer drivers, stewards and security staff.

They are pictured here, in the snow, as part of the publicity campaign.

The Games, some months later, were marred by controversy as the majority of countries (32 out of 59) boycotted them over opposition to apartheid in sports. Despite that, the Capital gave many sportsmen and women a chance to prove themselves, including Liz McColgan who looked close to tears here after winning gold in the 10,000m.

Hundreds of schools children were also given the chance to take part in the opening ceremony, having bombarded the BBC with applications in the months running up to the event.