Let’s look back to the future! No time to rest on our laurels gained at The World Games 2017. In 2018 the International World Games Association paved the way for the future.
Just in time for the first anniversary, the organising committee in Wroclaw, Poland in cooperation with the IWGA published an illustrated book with the highlights of the tenth edition of the TWG. The photos and the texts remind us of outstanding days in July 2017: more than 3,000 athletes from more than 100 nations celebrated the diversity of sport.
When the book was published, The World Games family had long since turned its attention to the eleventh edition, to be held from 15 to 25 July 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. Then the Games will return to the USA - 40 years after their première in Santa Clara, California. The year 2018 was marked by preparation for the upcoming event. But not only that: there was way more to do. Let’s look back to the future of the IWGA – and check the headlines of 2018.
President José Perurena re-elected
José Perurena (International Canoe Federation) serves as IWGA President for his second four-year term, until 2022. At the Annual General Meeting in April in Bangkok, Thailand the delegates of the 37 member federations also re-elected Max Bishop (World Air Sports Federation) as Vice President and Lukas Hinder (World DanceSport Federation) as Treasurer. Anna Arzhanova (World Underwater Federation) will continue as a member of the Executive Committee after being elected in 2014 for the first time. Volker Bernardi (World Flying Disc Federation), Antonio Espinós (World Karate Federation) and Jan Fransoo (International Korfball Federation) come in as new members.
The World Games Logo re-branded
The International World Games Association launched a re-branded logo in April. The logo still shows the ‘W’ but in a more modern style. It was created by JayKay-Designs, the company responsible for design for the International World Games Association. “We did not want to create anything from scratch, but worked on creating a re-styling of the logo,” said Anna Jacobson, IWGA Communication Officer. The re-branded logo replaces the old one which was launched in 2007. It is the fourth time since 1981 that the appearance of the IWGA emblem has been updated. In April, Anna Jacobson also presented the new slogan ‘We are The World Games’. “Although the word ‘association’ is still part of our official label, the IWGA will introduce itself more often in the future just as The World Games,” Jacobson continued. “That’s what we are, all of us, federations and athletes. We are The World Games. It is also easier to communicate and easier to remember.”
Sports Programme for TWG 2021
The IWGA announced the official Sports Programme for The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries will compete in 30 official sports. Four sports will be included in the invitational programme. “Racquetball and Softball will return to the programme of The World Games,” announced Joachim Gossow, CEO of the IWGA. Racquetball was last played as an official sport at The World Games in 2013, and Softball as an official sport in 1985. New disciplines in the programmes are Drone Racing (Airsports) and Parcours (Gymnastics). The IWGA announced the detailed event plan with all disciplines in September 2018. In October, Gossow also presented an initial schedule for the ten days of competition following the opening ceremony on 15 July 2021. IWGA President José Perurena says: “I'm sure this programme will be attractive for spectators, both on site and on screen. We're all set for a great Games in Birmingham in 2021.”
Paralympic Sports on The World Games Programme
Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby have been named in the invitational sports programme for The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. “For the first time in The World Games’ 40 years history, the Games will welcome athletes in wheelchairs to compete in the same arenas and venues as able-bodied athletes,” stated Sebastian Riediger, Head of IF and Games Services. Men’s Lacrosse and Duathlon are also included in the invitational sports programme at TWG 2017.
First Competition Managers Meeting in Birmingham
On 3 and 4 October, the Birmingham Organising Committee (BOC) welcomed the international sport federations to the first Competition Managers Meeting. “It was one of the important milestones on the way to Birmingham,” said Chantal Boehi, IWGA General Manager, reviewing the meeting in the host city of TWG 2021. The BOC used the opportunity to showcase its proposed venues to the representatives of the federations. The two-day meeting included a package of presentations delivered by members of the IWGA, BOC, and Official Partners. According to IWGA’s Rules of The World Games, Competition Managers take care of all aspects of running the competitions before and during the event. The international federations’ representatives will cooperate with the local organisers and the IWGA very closely in order to set up the best possible conditions for the event in July 2021. Alessando DiCato, appointed by the International Sport Climbing Federation (IFSC) as its Competition Manager for TWG 2021, described the most important achievements of the meeting: “It created the sensation of being together as a team. The federations work together with the Birmingham organisers and the IWGA. We are really striving to achieve a common goal, the success of The World Games in 2021.
Olympic Channel celebrates the spirit of TWG 2021
The good cooperation between the Olympic Channel and the International World Games Association (IWGA) is an important part of the legacy of The World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland. During his opening speech at SportAccord 2018 in Bangkok, IOC President Thomas Bach explicitly mentioned this success for the Olympic Channel, and described the cooperation as a best-practice example. “In this spirit, the two partners are now also working on successfully presenting the eleventh edition of The World Games – in Birmingham, Alabama in 2021 – to a huge world-wide audience,” said Hagen Bossdorf, IWGA TV & New Media Coordinator.The Olympic Channel and IWGA announced a cooperation agreement in April 2017. Throughout The World Games 2017 the Olympic Channel provided a 24/7 global linear channel, live event streaming and VOD replays, highlights shows, and daily news and social media coverage across its platforms. Making use of the experiences gathered in 2017, sports fans can expect even more in 2021.
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.