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Americas

Population figures correct as at August 2004.

Belize
Population 241,546
Capital Belmopan
Language English, Creole, Spanish, Mayan
Religion Roman Catholic, Protestant, Garifuna
Flag of Belize

Located in central America and bordering Mexico and Guatemala, half of the countryside in Belize is covered by jungle.

The climate is tropical, but tempered by sea breezes. A third of the population lives in the capital. The economy is based primarily on agriculture, forestry and fishing. Exports include sugar, clothing, citrus concentrates, bananas and lobsters.

The territory first came under British administration in 1786 and was designated a crown colony in 1862 under the name British Honduras. A new constitution was introduced in 1954 under which the country’s first general elections were held, and self-government was granted in 1964. In 1973 British Honduras was renamed Belize. Following growing domestic and international pressure, Belize was declared independent on 21 September 1981, retaining membership of the Commonwealth.

Belize started their association with the Commonwealth Games in 1962 and has attended the games on five occasions since. Over this time Belize has enjoyed no medal success at the Games.

View the final list of medallists from Belize at Melbourne 2006
See highlights and photos from the Queen's Baton Relay in Belize


Bermuda
Population 62,912
Capital Hamilton
Language English
Religion Protestant, Roman Catholic
Flag of Bermuda

Bermuda lies in the North Atlantic, east of the United States. The islands and islets of Bermuda lie along the southern rim of the summit of a submarine volcanic mountain.

The climate is warm and humid. The economy is based on tourism, insurance and shipping and foreign investment.

A British colony since 1684, Bermuda was granted internal self-government in 1968. Bermuda is yet to become independent from Britain, with an independence referendum in 1995 was resoundingly defeated. One of the six countries to compete in the inaugural Commonwealth Games in Hamilton in 1930, Bermuda has attended every Games since except the 1950 Games. Bermuda has won a total of five medals including one gold medal in Commonwealth Games competition.

Bermuda’s lone gold medal win came at the 1990 games in Auckland, where Clarence Saunders won gold in the Men’s High jump with a leap of 2.36 metres.

View the final list of medallists from Bermuda at Melbourne 2006
See highlights and photos from the Queen's Baton Relay in Bermuda


Canada
Population 31,330,255
Capital Ottawa
Language English, French
Religion Roman Catholic, Protestant
Flag of Canada

Canada is a country occupying the northern portion of North America, and is the world's second largest country in total area.

Canada is well endowed with minerals, energy resources, forests and rich coastal waters. Canada is among the world's leading exporters of wheat. It is also a leading exporter of wood and seafood and a top producer of iron ore, uranium and other minerals.

Canadian colonies gained effective self-government from Britain in 1848. The provinces were confederated over the next 100 years, with Newfoundland joining in 1949. Although Canada had internal self-government, its foreign relations were determined by the government in London until it became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1931 under the Statute of Westminster. Having attended every Commonwealth Games since 1930, Canada is ranked the all-time third position with a total of 1234 medals in Commonwealth competition including 388 gold.

Out of the 31 gold medal winning performances at Manchester, there was one particular stand-out. Jonathon Power took out the gold in the Men’s Singles Squash competition, defeating Peter Nicol in an epic gold medal match.

View the final list of medallists from Canada at Melbourne 2006
See highlights and photos from the Queen's Baton Relay in Canada


Falkland Islands
Population 2,826
Capital Stanley
Language English
Religion Protestant, Roman Catholic
Flag of Falkland Islands

The Falklands consists of two main islands - West Falkland and East Falkland and about 700 smaller islands which lie about 480kms north east of the southern tip of South America.

The economy is based on sheep farming and the sale of fishing licences, though oil has been discovered offshore.

Declaration of British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands was issued in 1833, after seventy years of periodic British settlement, and in the face of opposition from Argentina. By 1892 the small community had been granted colonial status. The islands remain a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom.

Having made their debut in the 1982 Games in Brisbane, the Falkland Islands have attended every Games since. Unfortunately the team have been unsuccessful in each occasion in terms of adding to their medal tally. 

View the final list of medallists from Falkland Islands at Melbourne 2006
See highlights and photos from the Queen's Baton Relay in Falkland Islands


Guyana
Population 703,399
Capital Georgetown
Language English, Creole, Hindi
Religion Protestant, Hindu, Roman Catholic, Sunni Muslim
Flag of Guyana

Guyana lies in the north-east of South America and borders Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela. It is the third smallest country in South America and approximately the size of Great Britain.

The generally hot, humid and wet conditions are modified along the coast by sea breezes. The economy is based on agriculture, mining, forestry and fishing. Sugar, bauxite, gold and rice are the main exports.

A British colony from the 1830s, the country’s attainment of independence came on 26 May 1966. Guyana was declared a Cooperative Republic, with a non-executive president on the 23 February 1970. A new constitution was duly drafted with an executive presidency in October 1980. It joined the Commonwealth in 1966, and has participated in 12 Games since its first appearance at the very first Games in Hamilton in 1930. With a total of 14 medals in competition, including three gold, Guyana has a heritage of success at the Commonwealth Games.

Guyana’s sole medal winning performance at the Manchester Games came in the Women’s 400 metres, where Aliana Pompey won gold in a time of 51.63 seconds. 

View the final list of medallists from Guyana at Melbourne 2006
See highlights and photos from the Queen's Baton Relay in Guyana


Saint Helena
Population 7,000
Capital Jamestown
Language English
Religion Protestant, Roman Catholic
Flag of Saint Helena

St Helena is a UK overseas territory and one of the most remote participants in the Commonwealth Games. It lies 931kms from the coast of Angola in Africa and is a volcanic and mountainous island.  It consists of the island of Saint Helena, as well as the dependencies of Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.

The island had a monocrop economy until 1966, based on the cultivation and processing of New Zealand flax for rope and string, as well as a tourism industry based around Napoleon’s imprisonment on the island. Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha and St. Helena all issue their own postage stamps which provide a significant income.

Uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, who named it for Helena of Constantinople, the island now known as Saint Helena was garrisoned by the British during the 17th century.

Melbourne 2006 marks Saint Helena’s third appearance at the Commonwealth Games, with two unsuccessful attempts at medals during appearances in Brisbane in 1982 and Manchester in 2002.

View the final list of medallists from Saint Helena at Melbourne 2006
See highlights and photos from the Queen's Baton Relay in Saint Helena

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