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The day before Tokyo – a mad petrol dash to Euros heartbreak

By Dan Palmer Maybe it’s because enough time has passed, or maybe the Lionesses’ stunning success has erased enough of the pain. But I’m finally ready to tell my story from the day England heartbreakingly missed out in the final of last year’s European Championship. I’m an extremely pessimistic sports fan and England’s men winningContinue reading “The day before Tokyo – a mad petrol dash to Euros heartbreak”

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Seventy-two Chefs de Mission pieces? Completed it, mate

By Dan Palmer At first, it seemed like a simple enough task.   The team at insidethegames were preparing for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and I took on the challenge of interviewing the Chef de Mission from every competing country and territory.  Granted, that meant getting in touch with and speaking to 72 different peopleContinue reading “Seventy-two Chefs de Mission pieces? Completed it, mate”

Niue, the small team with a Premier on the greens

By Dan Palmer In many ways the Commonwealth Games are summed up by the participation of Niue, a coral island in the South Pacific which locals like to call “The Rock”. Niue is not eligible for the Olympics, but this isolated home to fewer than 2,000 people has a place at the “Friendly Games” andContinue reading “Niue, the small team with a Premier on the greens”

Training on the runway – sport in Tuvalu

By Dan Palmer Tuvalu’s athletes have been training in an unusual place to prepare for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – the country’s international airport. Space in the Pacific island nation is at a premium, and with only one flight currently arriving a fortnight the locals have come up with an innovative solution. “At theContinue reading “Training on the runway – sport in Tuvalu”

Woody Lawrence, Dominica’s first Olympian

By Dan Palmer Woody Lawrence will not be unprepared when he takes on the role of Chef de Mission for Dominica at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The former competitive swimmer has held the position at five major Games and likes to know everything is in place well in advance. “I tend to be one of theContinue reading “Woody Lawrence, Dominica’s first Olympian”

A multi-storey car park and the Brownlee brothers, the story of a Gibraltar triathlete

By Dan Palmer The Commonwealth Games is a rare chance for athletes from non-Olympic nations to rub shoulders with the very elite of sport. When Gibraltar’s triathlete Chris Walker raced at Glasgow 2014, he did so against a field which included England’s dominant Brownlee brothers. Challenging for a medal was never on the agenda, butContinue reading “A multi-storey car park and the Brownlee brothers, the story of a Gibraltar triathlete”

Sea voyages, rabbits and a 189-year-old tortoise – the story of sport in St Helena

By Dan Palmer When the British needed somewhere remote for the exile of Napoleon Bonaparte – a place from where return was impossible – they opted for St Helena. The rocky, volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean is one of the most isolated places on earth, and home to a population of just 4,500Continue reading “Sea voyages, rabbits and a 189-year-old tortoise – the story of sport in St Helena”

MMA should have Olympic chance on an equal footing

By Dan Palmer If you stay in a hotel with MMA fighters, you might see some different things. Take my visit to the swimming pool during last month’s International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) World Championships in Abu Dhabi, when I bumped into Bahrain’s super heavyweight Pasha Kharkhachaev. The two-time and back-to-back world champion wasContinue reading “MMA should have Olympic chance on an equal footing”

Zharnel Hughes, Hurricane Irma and an angel in the outfield – sport in Anguilla

The expectation of fans at Birmingham 2022 means next year’s Commonwealth Games could be particularly special. With COVID-19 forcing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be held behind closed doors, the prospect of cheering crowds at a multi-sport event once again is a tantalising one.  Cardigan Connor, Anguilla’s Chef de Mission for Birmingham 2022, certainly knows the impactContinue reading “Zharnel Hughes, Hurricane Irma and an angel in the outfield – sport in Anguilla”

Bowls in a school corridor: Commonwealth Games passion in the Falkland Islands

By Dan Palmer You would be hard pushed to find a team more enthused about the Commonwealth Games than the Falkland Islands. The tiny archipelago at the foot of South America is home to a little more than 3,000 people but, according to their Birmingham 2022 Chef de Mission Andrew Brownlee, they live and breathe the movement.Continue reading “Bowls in a school corridor: Commonwealth Games passion in the Falkland Islands”