Stepping Stone to the Olympics

Stepping Stone to the Olympics

Four sports from the Member Federations of the International World Games Association set for 2024 Olympics. This was announced by the Local Organizers in Paris. The decision confirms the assessment that The World Games are a stepping stone to the Olympics. Breaking (from DanceSport), SportClimbing, Skateboarding (from World Skate) and Surfing are on the list of proposed sports for the Games in Paris.

The last three sports are already on the programme of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, together with women’s Softball and Karate, also two sports from the IWGA family. Most recently, Rugby made the leap from The World Games to the core Olympic program at the Rio Games 2016 and will be played in Tokyo as well.

Karate, DanceSport, and Sport Climbing will also be represented with disciplines at The World Games 2021 (15 – 25 July) in Birmingham, Alabama. IWGA President Jose Perurena feels vindicated by this development: "A lot of The World Games sports are on the same level as the Olympics and the standard of the venues at our event is very high. This means that sports from The World Games can contribute to developing the Olympic programme. ”With the exception of Golf, all seven new sports in the Olympic programme since 2016 have come from members of the IWGA.

IOC President Thomas Bach said after watching the Sport Climbing competition at TWG 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland: “Sport Climbing is a sport on the Olympic program in Tokyo 2020. Why? You can see here because with climbing you can address the challenges of modern sports. This means we have to go where the people are: to the urban centers. This urbanization of sport can be achieved very well with climbing and various other sports.”

This assessment meets the expectation of Tony Estanguet, the head of the Paris 2024 organising committee. He said after the announcement of the proposal: The inclusion of the four sports responded to a need to make the Olympics "more urban" and "more artistic". He added: "This is why we have chosen to present four sports to the IOC that are as creative as they are spectacular, geared towards youth and completely in line with our vision.”

The World Games did not acquire the status as "Stepping Stone" by chance. In November 2013 the International Olympic Committee approved a recommendation resulting in closer cooperation with the International World Games Association (IWGA). Recommendation N° 6 of the IOC Agenda 2020 says: The IOC and the International World Games Association should “… closely cooperate regarding the sports program composition and their respective evaluations.”

In April 2016 IWGA President José Perurena and IOC President Thomas Bach signed a new Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement expresses that “the IOC recognises the importance of The World Games as a multi-sport event and the IWGA is committed to develop its activities in the Olympic spirit and in conformity with the Olympic Charter.”

This decision has enhanced the status of our event tremendously. IWGA President José Perurena stresses: “The World Games comprise sports and disciplines which are ‘ready-made’ for the idea of developing the Olympic program by implementing competitions with a new appeal and different way of presentation.”

The IWGA President also made clear: "Our goal is not to make sports and disciplines ready for the Olympics. Rather, it works the other way around: We present competitions at the highest level in order to further develop The World Games as a unique multi-sport event. We have moved up to the next level. This works so successfully that the Olympic Games benefit from it in the modernization of their program. We are happy for the federations that can use our event as a springboard. At the same time, we are proud that The World Games are anticipating current developments in the world of sport and in this way also contribute to the further development of the Olympic Games.”

 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.

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