THE WORLD GAMES
The 11th edition of these World Games was to be held in the USA again this year, 40 years after it was first held. However, the international competition calendar is adapting to the Olympic Games and The World Games are keeping their staging rhythm in the year following the Summer Games.
The postponement will not diminish the appeal of the World Games, and the USA will now welcome the top athletes of non-Olympic sports to Birmingham, the largest city in the state of Alabama, next year from July 7 to 17, 2022.
One key feature distinguishes the host cities of the World Games: As a matter of principle, the infrastructure required for this multi-sport event is not built from scratch; instead, available sports facilities or those already planned independently of the World Games are used. This requirement also determines the respective sports program. The existing infrastructure in and around the host city is the determining factor for the selection of the respective official sports program.
The World Games will begin in the summer of 2022 on July 7 with the opening ceremony at the Protective Life Stadium, which will be completed next year. The construction of the stadium was planned independently of the World Games – due to the postponement of the Games, it will now provide a magnificent backdrop when the nations march in. During the following ten days of competition, the athletes will compete for 221 gold medals before the 11th World Games will end with the closing ceremony on July 17.
The World Games have been under the auspices of the IOC since 2000 and provide a stage for new Olympic program sports with modern competition formats. Recent examples include the inclusion of karate, sport climbing and surfing for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
In 2022, more than 100 nations will be represented in Birmingham with approximately 3,600 athletes competing in 34 sports. This means that this sporting event has more than doubled in numbers in all dimensions since the first World Games in 1981.
The media presence of the World Games has also increased enormously and makes an important contribution to making these interesting sports known to a wider public. In 2017, the competitions were broadcast on TV in 120 countries.
If diversity were a place, it would be Birmingham. People who visit here get a taste of that variety—in entertainment, cuisine, the arts, nightlife, the great outdoors—that brings them back time and again.
Birmingham was born out of iron and steel. Remnants of these early beginnings are preserved in places such as Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. The city is also well-known for its prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. A visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute gives visitors an in-depth look at that important era.
The area’s antique shops are becoming places of legend in upscale lifestyle magazines around the country. Trendy malls have taken root all over the area, bringing tony, high-end shops to the state’s retail giant. Dozens of new art galleries surprise enthusiasts and collectors with a wide variety of paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, fine and funk art.
Should you have us pigeonholed as serving only barbeque and fried pies, just remember that Birmingham is home to “the Oscars of dining” with James Beard Foundation Award winners and nominees. Anyone visiting the city should take in the beauty of down-home cooking as well. And visitors with an appetite for live music will find that it is the city’s signature entertainment.
So it is diversity that is this city’s greatest strength and strongest appeal. We are a spectrum of attitudes and cultures that are all a part of the charm and intrigue that is Birmingham.
CHENGDU HOST FOR THE WORLD GAMES 2025
The Chinese city of Chengdu will be the host city for The World Games 2025. IFA President Karl Weiss congratulated the Mayor of Chengdu, Mr Luo Qiang, to host the 12th edition of the multi-sports event.
The Vice President of IOC and the Chinese Olympic Committee, Mr Yu Zaiqing, signed the agreement as Witness. President Jose Perurena signed on behalf of the International World Games Association. This was preceded by ratification of the contract by the 37 member federations of the IWGA during the Annual General Meeting at the SportAccord Convention in Gold Coast. Chengdu follows the city of Birmingham, Alabama as host. The 11th edition of The World Games will take place there from 15 to 25 July 2021.
Jose Perurena said at a press briefing afterwards: “By signing a contract with one of the most forward-looking and dynamic cities in China, we have signalled our arrival as a major power in international sport.” The IWGA President added: ”Following our 2021 event in another great country, the USA, we are excited now to start work with our Chinese partners on plans for 2025.”
Chengdu Mayor, Mr Luo Qiang, said: “Chengdu highly appreciates the concept of the IWGA and believe that it is in line with Chengdu’s development philosophy. We are confident that, under the guidance of the IWGA and the support from the Chinese Olympic Committee and governments of all levels, Chengdu can offer the world a successful and excellent World Games, a precious legacy to Chengdu and The World Games.”
The AGM unanimously ratified the decision of the Executive Committee taken the previous day to award The World Games 2025 to Chengdu. This followed a comprehensive bid evaluation, conducted by the IWGA CEO Joachim Gossow, and Vice President Max Bishop, including an on-site visit in March 2019. .
The delegates were given a first impression of the city and what it can offer as host of a multi-sport event by the delegation of the future host with an impressive presentation. Chengdu, a city with 20 million inhabitants and the capital of Sichuan province, is organising several multi-sports events, such ad the World Police and Fire Games, and FISU Summer Universiade, in the next few years.