The World Games family is looking for The World Games Athlete of the Year 2018! No fewer than 25 candidates have been put forward. More than ever before, the member federations of the IWGA have used the opportunity to present a candidate from their sport. This is the fifth time that the IWGA will run the race for the Athlete of the Year.
Online voting will start on 1 January 2019 and continue until 31 January 2019. A trophy will be awarded to the winner.
The 37 member federations of the IWGA had the opportunity to nominate their candidates. Anna Jacobson, Head of the IWGA Communications Department, expressed pleasure over the active participation of the federations:
"We can see that The World Games family rates this award very highly. Last year, 21 members came with their nominations; this year there are 25 of them. That shows that the award is now perceived as significant."
The award honours an athlete or a team for their outstanding performance in 2018. Other criteria can be social commitment or particularly fair behaviour. The winner of the title is decided by the fans via online voting. Altogether 90,790 votes were cast for the Athlete of the Year 2017, the Iranian sport climbing star Reza Alipourshenazandifar. The power lifter Larysa Soloviova from Ukraine came second with 90,036 votes.
Anna Jacobson describes the voting as part of the philosophy of The World Games. “We always focus on the athletes. We want to highlight their achievements andhelp them become better known.” In addition, the voting offers an opportunity to get in touch with all the sports fans. The poll draws attention to The World Games and the unique diversity of sports they showcase, and the voting is also a tool to advertise the 11th edition of the event, which will take place in Birmingham, Alabama in 2021.
After the deadline for the submission of names, the IWGA Communications Department is now working on the presentation for the voting. Anna Jacobson:
"We want to make it easy for the fans to vote. We also want to present the candidates in such a way that interested parties who are not so familiar with a particular sport can assess their performance.”
The World Games will promote the voting via all its media channels. Anna Jacobson: "Our goal is to get as exciting a race as last year, and to reach as many friends of The World Games as possible".
Past IWGA Athletes of the Year:
2014: Marcel Hassemeier (GER), Life Saving
2015: Mwai Kumwenda (MWA), Netball
2016: Sofia Olofsson (SWE), Muaythai
2017: Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRA), Sports Climbing
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 15-25 July 2021. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the Games.