The Commonwealth Games are well known as the Friendly Games and with multiple groups of siblings competing in different sports and nations, Birmingham 2022 could also be called the Family Games.
From the Scottish team’s pair of badminton doubles, 22-year-old twins Matthew and Christopher Grimley, to Gold Coast boxing medal-winning brothers Aidan and Michaela Wals from Northern Ireland, and the Chalmers brothers the 400 m hurdles Alastair and 400m flat runner Cameron competing for Guernsey, there is strong family representation at all levels.
Team Canada weightlifting brother and sister Shad and Tali Darsigny both produced strong performances to win brilliant bronze medals in the women’s 59kg and men’s 73kg weight classes, respectively.
It was made a bit more special by the presence of their father Yvan Darsigny, who oversees Canada’s weightlifting team in Birmingham.
Speaking after the medal presentation, Yvan said: “I’m really proud of Tali and Shad. For both of them, a medal was our goal heading into these Games – and we succeeded.
“As a coach I was hoping for a bit more in terms of the weights lifted that day, but to go home with two Commonwealth medals is a real achievement.”
In a first for the Cayman Islands, mother-daughter duo Marlene G. West and Kyra S. Rabess are competing at the same Games.
Marlene plays women’s squash and mixed doubles squash and her daughter Kyra competes in several pool events.
Five-time Caribbean champion Marlene represented Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006 before switching in 2010 to play for the Cayman Islands, where she currently resides. Birmingham 2022 will mark Marlene’s sixth and final Commonwealth Games.
Marlene said: “I have decided that the Gold Coast in 2018 will be my last Commonwealth Games as my body is not recovering as well as it used to.
However, towards the end of last year it became clear to her coach and me that Birmingham 2022 was a real possibility for Kyra to compete in swimming. I had to push through and give her one last chance to be here with her!
I have competed in countless international competitions, but this year being Kyra’s first Commonwealth Games and my last, it will undoubtedly be the most memorable.
At just 17, Kyra is a record breaker in her own right, winning the 5km open water swim in record time by any female swimmer in the Cayman Islands at the Aquatics Association’s annual event. in February 2022.
Kyra said: “I think it’s an amazing experience to be able to compete and represent my country at such a massive event with my mum. I feel honored and lucky to have her here with me.