The race gets tighter!

The race gets tighter!

Today at 16:00 CET the 10 candidates with most votes continued in the race towards becoming The World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time.

Squash superstar Nicol David (MAS) has a convincing lead with 200,043 votes, but there are still 12 days to go! Russian Sumo fighter Batyr Altyev is in second place; over 760,000 votes have already been cast in the competition. James Kehoe (IRL Tug of War), Sofia Olofsson (SWE Muaythai), and Paola Longoria (MEX, Racquetball) fight for third place. Of them, especially the Tug of War legend James Kehoe has taken a leap upwards in recent days.

The race was tight, and Henri Lacroix (FRA, Boules Sports) would only have needed 1,100 votes more in order to beat Gabriele Goffredo & Anna Matus (MDA, DanceSport) to make it to 10th place. Sport Climber Iuliina Kaplina (RUS) and Brazil Women’s Beach Handball Team were also really close to Lacroix.

Among the candidates still in the competition, there are athletes from all editions of The World Games. One of them actually covers 9 of the 10 editions: James Kehoe competed in all editions 1981-2013! He won 9 medals in total. Of the leaders, David competed in 2005-2017, Altyev 2013-2017 and for Muaythai and Olofsson, Wroclaw was the first time. Altyev and Olofsson are active athletes and aim to compete in The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Paola Longoria is a 2-time champion of The World Games (2009 and 2013), while Lifesaver Marcel Hassemeier (GER) got all his medals, 4 gold and one silver, at The World Games 2013, and Fabriana Arias her 7 medals (of which 3 are gold) in 2017!

Gymnastics has been in The World Games from the beginning. Of all the magnificent gymnasts to have graced the carpet at The World Games since its inception in 1981, Evgeniya Kanaeva stands apart. To her belongs the honour of having swept the finals (Rope, Hoop, Ball, Ribbon) at The World Games 2009, the only Rhythmic gymnast in two decades of Games history to do so. She was also Olympic Champion in 2008 and 2012.

Larysa Soloviova has competed in four editions of The World Games, 2005-2017, and still continues her career. She has won gold every time she has competed, and most likely aims to do that in Birmingham, Alabama, as well.

Currently in 10th place but with a curve pointing upwards, Gabriele Goffredo and Anna Matus have been finalists in every competition they have taken part in since 2011 – also this one! They are reigning The World Games champions in Latin dancing, having won the event both in 2013 and 2017. They are also 5-time World Champions.

Nothing is over yet for any of the 10 athlete legends, as long as their fans keep on voting. All sports fans can vote online for their favourite once per 24 hours. More information about the candidates can be found here: The World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time

The three best candidates will receive a trophy, a diploma and a branded gift from the official sponsor Protective Life. The winner will be announced on 1st February 2021.

All 24 candidates – all legends in their sport – will get a chance to tell their whole story in our athlete promotion throughout 2021!

Standings 20 January 2021

Nicol David  Squash - 200043

Batyr Altyev  Sumo - 89969

James Kehoe  Tug of War - 45710

Sofia Olofsson  Muaythai - 43272

Paola Longoria  Racquetball - 41239

Marcel Hassemeier  Lifesaving - 40474

Fabriana Arias  Roller Sports - 36116

Evgeniya Kanaeva  Gymnastics - 24159

Larysa Soloviova  Powerlifting - 23943

Gabrielle Goffredo & Anna Matus  DanceSport - 18313


Henri Lacroix  Boules Sports - 17202

Iuliia Kaplina  Sport Climbing17187

Women’s Beach Handball team  Beach Handball 17153

Denes Kanyo  Finswimming - 15768

Beau Kittredge Flying Disc15413

Patrice Martin  Waterski15317

Morgan Lundin  Archery15165

Martin Weiss  Fistball14869

Women’s Canoe Polo team  Canoe14854

Leon Simons  Korfball14651

Matthias Hofbauer  Floorball14595

Matthias Kyburz  Orienteering14564

Rob Haans Ju-jitsu 14519

Alyssa Murray  Lacrosse14500



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. (TSE:8750). 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 under the patronage 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 over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.

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