The history of The World Games has found a new home in Lausanne. A few days ago, 300 boxes and more than 50 folders with documents, photos and videos arrived at the headquarters of the International World Games Association. Co Koren, former Secretary General of the IWGA, handed over the material; he has been collecting and documenting these assets over the past four decades. The carefully labelled boxes arrived in Lausanne by van from Hoensbroek in The Netherlands, Co Koren's place of residence.
The collection of Mr Koren is thus transformed into the official IWGA archive. Among other things, it contains documents from the founding phase of The World Games, before the 1981 debut in Santa Clara, USA. In addition, the minutes of all the annual General Assemblies are now available in one place. The Final Reports of the respective editions of the Games, some of which include extensive visual material, contribute to making the history of The World Games visible.
José Perurena, President of the IWGA, thanks Co Koren for making his archive available. "We are aware that it is not easy to collect such an extensive documentation. We are well aware of our responsibilities. We want to use the material: our goal is to bring to light the path we have taken in the more than 40 years since the IWGA was founded in 1980. Co Koren's comprehensive documentation goes a long way towards that." Mr. Koren has been with the IWGA in various capacities since 1981. In 2010 he was made Honorary Life Vice President. Until 2017, he headed the Evaluation Commission during each Games.
José Perurena adds: "We as IWGA are future-oriented and strive always to develop our product. But to stay on track on this path can only be secured by those who are aware of their roots and their past." Photo and video material from over 40 years has been made available by the IWGA to the 39 member federations, as well as the National Olympic Committees and National Sports Organizations, via its online archive in cooperation with the Olympic Channel since 2020.
Establishing an archive for documents is the next step to ‘storing history’. IWGA CEO Joachim Gossow explains the plans for handling the assets in Lausanne. "We will sift through the material and digitize important pieces. These include the Constitutions, which have been repeatedly adapted to the times and circumstances, as well as the Final Reports of host cities in the past and Results Books from those events. Again, we want to give our partners the opportunity to learn more about us and our development, or to research their own relationship with the IWGA."
Special features from Co Koren's archive will also be available for The World Games family to learn about via the IWGA’s social media platforms, from March on, in a new feature, ‘Way Back Wednesday’. For example, among the archive treasures is a facsimile of the welcome note from then U.S. President Ronald Reagan on the occasion of the first Games in 1981 in Santa Clara. It is matched by Jo Biden's greeting to the participants in 2022. At the conclusion of The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama, the current U.S. President acknowledged the importance of the multi-sport event in his country. Sometimes history repeats itself.
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 World Games 2022 was held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and 100 countries took part in the Games. The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, CHN in 2025.