NATHAN Douglas admits he has reflected on the concept of the Commonwealth Games as his adopted city prepares to host the event.

The Commonwealth is an association of 56 countries, many of which used to be territories of the British Empire.

The 2022 Games gets under way today in Birmingham, where former Oxford City AC triple-jumper Douglas (below) has lived since 2004.

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The 39-year-old competed at the event three times and knows how much a medal means to competitors – but also understands why people may have questions.

He said: “I have reflected on this several times and spoken to other athletes about this.

“If you think of the history of the Commonwealth, really it’s a history of colonisation so what should we be doing?

“I’m not sure I have the answer, but I do feel a bit contradicted by that.

“In one respect, you could say it’s looking at that murky past but in another aspect you could say we’re celebrating being together.

“It depends how you want to look at things, I suppose.”

The opening ceremony takes place this evening before the action gets under way tomorrow, with 6,500 athletes in 19 sports competing for 280 medals.

And Douglas expects the Games to have a positive impact in Birmingham.

He said: “Hopefully it’s a really successful Games for the city and people can go there and embrace it.

“Because of the pandemic people haven’t been able to watch sport, so hopefully the Commonwealth Games can be a celebration of people getting together and enjoying live sport again.”