Twenty-five years ago this week Forrest Gump was box office champ, Boyz II Men ruled the pop charts, Jean Chretien was in his first year as Prime Minister, and more than 2500 athletes converged on Victoria.
The capital region hosted the XV Commonwealth games from August 18-28, 1994.
Victoria’s bid for the games was declared the winner in 1988, beating New Delhi and Cardiff, and six-years later 2,557 athletes from 63 nations, as well as 914 officials would take part in the event.
The city also welcomed royalty as Queen Elizabeth opened the Games on August 18, and her son, Prince Edward, closed them on August 28.
The Victoria games saw the return of South Africa to competition following the end of apartheid. Namibia and Montserrat made their Commonwealth Games debut.
It was also Hong Kong’s last appearance at the games before the handover of the territory to China by Britain in 1997.
The opening and closing ceremonies were held at Victoria’s Centennial Stadium, which was expanded to 34,500 seats (up from 5,000) to accommodate the event.
Canadian athletes took advantage of being at home, with 134 medals, including 42 gold, in finishing second to Australia (186 medals, 89 gold) in the standings.
The BC Sports Hall of Fame declared the 1994 Commonwealth Games a “defining moment” in the province’s sports history last year.
Victoria officially entered a bid in 2017 to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games but pulled out in August because of the provincial government’s decision to not support the bid.