The tenth edition of The World Games will be held in Wroclaw, Poland, 20–30 July 2017. This is the sixth time the event comes to Europe after the first edition in Santa Clara, USA in 1981.
Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia, is a thriving multicultural centre and home to a growing student community. It acts as the financial, cultural and commercial hub of western Poland. In 2012 the city hosted the Euro 2012 football championships. In 2016 the city was a European Capital of Culture and the World Book Capital. Also in 2016 Wrocław hosted the Theatre Olympics, World Bridge Games and the European Film Awards.
Wroclaw is the fourth largest city in Poland in terms of population (640,000). Throughout more than a thousand years of history Wrocław has been at the crossroads of different cultures, switching from Polish hands to the reigns of Czechs and Germans.
It is also a city of bridges – there are 117 of them in Wrocław – for which it gained the nickname “the second Venice”. Wroclaw is visited by more than 3 million tourists annually. There are 8,000 historic buildings that survived World War II and are regularly renovated. Two very famous small houses in the city centre are Jaś and Małgosia, better known in English as Hansel and Gretel. They are linked by a Baroque archway, which makes them look as though they are holding hands. When an online vote was held for the mascots of The World Games 2017, the idea of two high school pupils won, and Hansel and Gretel (the brother and sister from the fairy tale by Brothers Grimm) were chosen as official World Games mascots.
Wroclaw will have three partner cities when hosting The World Games 2017. The cities Jelcz-Laskowice, Świdnica and Trzebnica will host Indoor Rowing, Roller Sports and Orienteering events during the Games. More than 3,000 athletes from 31 sports and 110 countries will compete in approximately 200 medal events in The World Games 2017.
Since The World Games in 1981 in the USA, the Games have been organised outside Europe on three occasions: 2001 in Akita, Japan, 2009 in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei and 2013 in Cali, Colombia. In 2021 The World Games will return to the USA when Birmingham, Alabama will host the Games.