Glasgow 2014: 500 days until Commonwealth Games

Flash mob choir at the Barras market
Image caption A flash mob choir kick-started the celebrations at Barras market in Glasgow

An Olympic champion is leading celebrations to mark 500 days until the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Australian athlete Sally Pearson, who won the 100m hurdles at London 2012, signalled the countdown in Sydney by wearing a "500 days to go" vest.

In Glasgow, pupils from St Stephen's Primary School have taken part, along with the official Games mascot, Clyde.

Tributes will be also be paid in the Commonwealth's 71 nations and territories.

The celebrations in Glasgow were kick-started on Saturday when a flash mob choir serenaded shoppers at various locations around the east and north of the city

A film created by Glasgow 2014 has also been released showing an ordinary day in the life of a cross-section of people in Scotland with The Proclaimers' song I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) as the soundtrack.

Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said: "It is fantastic to see the rich diversity with everyone from top athletes to young schoolchildren in so many different Commonwealth regions wanting to share the celebrations of this milestone."

Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison said: "It's great to see the real enthusiasm right around the Commonwealth at the 500 days to go milestone. We are very proud to be hosting the Games in 2014 and delighted to see the excitement, from people of all ages, in the Commonwealth this weekend."

Image caption The countdown is being marked by Olympian Sally Pearson in Sydney

Sprint hurdler Ms Pearson, 26, also won the 100m hurdles at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and intends to defend the title in Glasgow next year.

She added: "I'm really looking forward to not only running in Scotland but also getting a chance to see a bit of the country."

Earlier this month Games organisers said a new record had been set by the number of people offering to be volunteers at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

A total of 50,811 people have come forward offering their services - more than the number who applied for both the Melbourne 2006 and Manchester 2002 Games.

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