A New Chapter in the History of TWG
The 12th edition of The World Games will take place from 7th to 17th August 2025. The host city will be the mega-city Chengdu in the People’s Republic of China. The guidelines of the IWGA strategy paper ‘Growth Beyond Excellence’, adopted in November 2020, will be applied for the first time at TWG 2025. For the third time in the history of The World Games since 1981, the multi-sport event is a guest in Asia.
Chengdu, a city of 20 million people in the south-west of China, is the capital of Sichuan province and is well known for its Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. It’s quite likely that the panda will become the next Mascot. But there is more to know about the upcoming host of The World Games.
Yang Shen Wei, Head of the Chengdu delegation at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, USA, introduced China’s ‘happiest city’ with a clear statement: “Chengdu will make every effort to make the Games in 2025 an exceptional and unforgettable sporting event. Let’s gather in Chengdu and cheer for the world.” In his speech during the closing ceremony in Birmingham he stated: “Chengdu is ready to welcome friends from all over the world. We will deliver a wonderful Games featuring international standards, Chinese style and Chengdu characteristics, so as to jointly write a new chapter in the history of The World Games.”
The postponement of the eleventh edition of The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, by one year to 2022, will not affect the preparation and staging of the Games. But, having just three years on the road to Chengdu, the IWGA CEO Joachim Gossow described the challenge this creates: “We have to catch up with our IFs. Usually we use the year after the Games to evaluate the event, and for applications to be on the programme, and for the ratification of the schedule. We have to shorten this process, and we have already discussed with our staff how we can do it in an efficient way.”
IWGA and the Chengdu Organizing Committee announced the dates of the event in early August 2022. The process of deciding on the sports programme for The World Games 2025 has been started. Qualifications - for which the member federations will be responsible - will begin in 2023.
Growth Beyond Excellence
The strategy paper ‘Growth Beyond Excellence’ sets the guidelines with regard to the sports programme and the number of participants. The maximum permitted number (including athletes and technical officials) for the sports programme of TWG 2025 and onwards will be increased from 4,200 to 5,000. In principle, this number will include 4,000 participants proposed by the IWGA Member Federations.
The remaining 1,000 participants will be divided as follows:
- 400 participants in disciplines determined in consultation with the Host City
- 400 participants from disciplines determined in consultation with the IOC
- 200 participants from para-disciplines that are not included in the programme of the Paralympic Games, determined in consultation with the IPC.
Chengdu will be able to provide all the facilities and the necessary infrastructure to meet the challenge which comes with the increased numbers of participants. Following the principles of the IWGA, the construction of new sports facilities is not required. And in Chengdu it’s not needed at all, because there is already a more than sufficient number of high-class venues in place.
Chengdu can refer to some experience in hosting multi-sport events. Chengdu organised the World Police and Fire Games in 2019 and looks forward to hosting the FISU Summer Universiade in 2023. Joachim Gossow: “Seeing all the assets the city offers, we are looking forward to showcasing our event in Chengdu, because we experienced especially the enthusiasm of the city, but in addition the support of the Chinese Olympic Committee for our Games and the non-Olympic sports.”
The IWGA will bring in two trusted partners to cover important parts in the execution of the event: as with TWG 2022, the Madrid-based company ISB will be responsible for the production of the TV signal and the international marketing of the TV rights. The official timekeeper will be Swiss Timing, as it has been for the Games since 2009.
The Organiser Agreement for TWG 2025 was signed by the Mayor of Chengdu, Mr Luo Qiang in 2019, in Gold Coast, Australia. The Vice President of IOC and the Chinese Olympic Committee, Mr Yu Zaiqing, signed the agreement as Witness. IWGA President José Perurena signed on behalf of the International World Games Association. This was preceded by ratification of the contract by the then 37 (now 39) member federations of the IWGA during the Annual General Meeting in 2019.
After the signing ceremony, José Perurena described his expectations: “By awarding our Games to one of the most forward-looking and dynamic cities in China, we have signalled our arrival as a major power in international sport.” Chengdu’s Mayor, Mr Luo Qiang, said: “Chengdu strongly 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, and a precious legacy both to Chengdu and The World Games.” Joachim Gossow agreed: “The flavour of The World Games fits the city.”