AOTY: Who will be the winner this time?

AOTY: Who will be the winner this time?

The World Games Athlete of the Year 2021

The World Games family is looking to find the Athlete of the Year 2021, and online voting begins on 10th January 2022. In the first round, 24 athletes and teams are in the field. After 23rd January the title will be decided from amongst the final stars, the top ten candidates at that point. Sports fans will have until 31st January to vote for their favourites. The IWGA will present all the candidates on its website on 4th January.

The winners will receive trophies and prizes from the official sponsor of The World Games Athlete of the Year, Protective Life.

For 2021, candidates entered are from the federations that will be taking part in The World Games 2022, in Birmingham, USA from 7th to 17th July. The award honours an athlete or a team for their outstanding performance in 2021, or for their social commitment or particularly fair behaviour. It is the eighth time that The World Games family is looking for the top athlete. The last time fans were able to vote for the IWGA Athlete of the Year was in January 2020; Indian field hockey player Rani won then, with a total of 705,610 votes.

On the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of The World Games, in 2021, IWGA athletes and teams were put forward for the title of The World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time. Squash player and legend Nicole David from Malaysia was the winner. Following behind in second place was James Kehoe from Ireland, a Tug of War legend and 9-times medal winner at The World Games. Larysa Soloviova, 4-times The World Games winner in Powerlifting (2005-2017), came in third.

"This year we're not looking back quite as far. But the qualifiers for the Birmingham Games are already being identified. That also means we have some very exciting candidates. Not only do they have chances to win our online voting, they also have prospects for a golden summer at the Birmingham Games," says Anna Jacobson, IWGA Head of Communications. The names of the 24 candidates will be revealed on 4th January.

The rules of the game have not changed from last year: 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 candidates: two votes to your first-choice candidate and one vote to your second-choice candidate. The World Games Athlete of 2021 will be crowned on 31st January 2022.


Protective Life Corporation provides financial services through the production, distribution and administration of insurance and investment products throughout the U.S. The company traces its roots to the corporation’s flagship company, Protective Life Insurance Company – founded in 1907. Throughout its more than 110-year history, Protective’s growth and success can be largely attributed to its ongoing commitment to serving people and doing the right thing – for its employees, distributors, and most importantly, its customers. The company’s home office is located in Birmingham, Alabama, and its 3,000 employees are located in offices across the United States. As of December 31 2018, the Company had assets of approximately $90 billion. Protective Life Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc.

For more information about Protective, please visit

 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.

More news