The World Games are here! On Thursday 20 July IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach declared the 10th edition of The World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland open. He delivered the keynote address between the welcome speeches of Jose Perurena, President of the International World Games and Rafał Dutkiewicz, Mayor of the city of Wroclaw. The impressive opening ceremony at the sold out Wroclaw Stadium was the perfect start for the biggest sport event ever held in Poland. Now it’s up to the athletes to dazzle, showcasing their sports in an outstanding and thrilling way.
During the next ten days, 3,250 athletes from 111 countries will compete in 31 sports (27 official sports and four invitational sports) to become the World Games Champion in one of 218 medal events. However, Thursday was the day to celebrate for The World Games Family. About 40,000 spectators – among them the Polish Sports Minister Witold Barika – followed a spectacular show put together by artistic director Krzysztof Materna. And they heartly cheered for the athletes marching in by country.
IWGA President José Perurena addressed them first in his speech claiming: “You have been training very hard for a long time. A World Games Title means a lot to you. But even if you don’t win a medal, you will all have memories to look back on.” Dr. Thomas Bach stressed in his speech: “The next few days will be a celebration of sport and its values. The World Games are a confirmation of the power of sport to unite us all. In sport, everyone is equal, no matter who you are or where you come from. Sport has the power to bring together all people.”
The opening ceremony, showcasing Woclaw's hospitality and enthusiasm for The World Games, gave the first example of this power. The show at the Wroclaw Stadium impressed the spectators and was covered by several TV stations around the world in addition to the Olympic Channel. Dawid Kwiatowski, Radzimir Debski, Steve Nash and The Turntable Orchestra, Kamil Bednarek, Igor Herbut and Lemon, and French band BeMY contributed with their energetic performances to the success of the opening ceremony.
From Friday onwards, the center stage belongs to the sport. On the opening competition day, nine sports are on the programme, including 24 finals, where the first medals will be presented. The first medalist will be known at 17:04 on Friday 21st July with the final of the women's finswimming competition.