The final round has begun: of the 24 excellent candidates for The World Games Athlete of the Year 2021, the 10 best of the best now continue in the race until 31st January. The top ten athletes/teams run for the title. But of course: the runner-up and the second runner-up will receive trophies and prizes from the official sponsor of The World Games Athlete of the Year, Protective Life as well. Until 31st January, friends of The World Games can support their favourite. Voting is available online on the IWGA website.
The World Games fans can choose their champion with a click, or actually with two clicks, for the rules are as follows: each participant can cast votes for the candidates once per 24 hours, on The World Games website. Each time, votes must be given to two of the top ten: two votes to your first-choice candidate and one vote to your second-choice candidate. The current ranking and the number of votes cast for each candidate can be seen on the IWGA voting page.
More than 450,000 votes were cast in the first two weeks of the race for the first World Games title of the year. Anna Jacobson, IWGA Head of Communications speaks of an outstanding success: "The candidates have managed to get their fan base behind them. Now it's a matter of motivating supporters once again in the final sprint." None of the 24 candidates was really beaten. No fewer than 14 candidates were virtually tied with just under 9,000 votes. However at least 10,000 votes were needed to reach the final.
Indian Field Hockey player PR Sreejesh came out on top with more than 110,000 votes. Alberto Ginés López is currently in second place with more than 64,000 votes. The Spanish sports climber also provided an example of what a good campaign looks like. He let his numerous Twitter followers know, "If you vote for me I will love you for ever - if you don’t, I will love you too - just a little less…" Paige Pierce from the USA has also received a lot of love from the community of Flying Disc friends. Before entering the final, she is in third place (35,000 votes).
10 top Candidates for The World Games Athlete of the Year:
PR Sreejesh (IND) Hockey
Alberto Ginés López (ESP) Sport Climbing
Paige Pierce (USA) Flying Disc
Michele Giordano (ITA) Wushu
Ekaterina Mikhaylushkina (RUS) Underwater Sport
U19 team (CZE) Floorball
Melissa Martinez Aceves (MEX) Kickboxing
Phillip Delarmino (PHI) Muaythai
Sara Lopez (COL) Archery
Marius-Andrei Balan - Khrystyna Moshenska (GER) DanceSport
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.