Voting for The World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time has started! From Friday 8th January 9:00 CET onwards, sports fans from around the world have been able to vote for their favourites in the exciting all-time race towards finding the greatest athlete of The World Games. In the vote, there are candidates from all editions of The World Games, from 1981 until 2017.
On 20th January, the 10 candidates with most votes continue in the race. The World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time will be crowned on 1st February.
Candidates in alphabetical order according to the sport
Morgan Lundin (SWE) won gold at The World Games in 1993, 1997 and 2005. In 2005 he became the first archer to have won the World Archery Championships in three disciplines: Indoor, Outdoor and Field. Altogether he has won 5 gold medals at World Championships.
The Brazil women’s national Beach Handball team have been nothing short of dominant at The World Games. Since Beach Handball’s first appearance in 2001, the Brazilians have never finished worse than third (three gold, two bronze). They are currently the two-time defending champions, and since 2009 they have lost only one TWG match!
Henri Lacroix (FRA) is The World Games 2017 Champion in Petanque. He has 12 World Champion titles, and he is four-time European Champion. Further, he has won 19 gold medals at French Championships in four different disciplines (Individual, double, mixed doubles and even the Provençal game).
The German Women’s Canoe Polo team has won gold at three editions of The World Games (2017, 2013 and 2005), and silver in Kaohsiung in 2009. During this run of success only one player – Tonie Lenz – has featured in all four medal-winning teams, highlighting the successful turnover and depth of this squad.
Gabriele Goffredo and Anna Matus (MDA) have been finalists in every competition they have taken part in since 2011. 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.
Denes Kanyo (HUN) has an incredible career at The World Games: in 1997 he won silver in Lahti, then it was bronze and a 4thplace in 2009 and 2013, and finally gold in 2017! He is also World Champion from 2009 and 2011 – the latter year with a world record that is still in force. In 2020 he won his 113th Hungarian Championship title!
Martin Weiss (AUT) won over 10 national championships, 8 continental titles, and 3 World Tour titles during his career. At The World Games 2001 and 2005, Weiss’s team won the first international titles for Austria with Weiss as their no. 1 striker. In 2007 his team claimed Austria’s only World Championship title to this day. Weiss started working as head coach for the Austrian national team in 2016, and led it to bronze at The World Games 2017 and silver at the World Championships 2019.
Matthias Hofbauer is a true Floorball legend. He has represented Switzerland in all Men’s World Floorball Championships since 2000, and at The World Games 2017. In the Floorball world, historically dominated by Sweden and Finland, the Swiss Hofbauer is the all-time top scorer in the World Floorball Championships! At The World Games 2017 Hofbauer led Switzerland to a historic silver medal.
Beau Kittredge is the only Flying Disc athlete to have won three gold medals in The World Games in 2009, 2013, and 2017. He is considered to be one of the greatest Ultimate players of all time, noted for his top-end speed and athleticism. Kittredge with his team has won USA National Championships six times. He was a core member of Team USA in winning the WFDF World Ultimate Championships in 2012 and 2016.
Of all the magnificent gymnasts to have graced the carpet at The World Games since its inception in 1981, Evgeniya Kanaeva (RUS) 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, and 13-time individual World Champion 2009-2011.
Rob Haans (NED) is an outstanding Ju-jitsu athlete, well known for his strategic, tactical knowledge and abilities in the discipline Fighting System. This he has proved by winning the JJIF World Title in three different weight categories! He is two-times The World Games Champion – in 2001 and 2009.
Leon Simons is the current Dutch record international with a total of 94 caps. He is the player with the most Korfball gold medals in history at The World Games, from the Games 1997–2009. Furthermore, Simons has won gold in three World Championships and four European Championships. He has become national champion (indoor) 5 times with his club PKC.
Alyssa Murray (USA) led all players in terms of scoring, when Women's Lacrosse made its debut in The World Games in 2017. She scored 12 goals and added 7 assists for a tournament-best 19 points in 4 games, as the USA went undefeated and claimed the gold medal. In the Championship Game, Murray registered a team-leading 4 goals and an assist to pace the USA to an 11-8 victory over Canada.
Marcel Hassemeier (GER) won 4 gold medals and 1 silver at The World Games 2013, which made him the most successful athlete of the Games. He was voted The World Games Athlete of the Year 2013, and that year he also received the Silver Laurel Leaf, the highest sports award in Germany. During his career he won three World Champion titles.
Sofia Olofsson (SWE) is Muaythai World Champion from 2016 and 2018, European Champion from 2014 and 2017 and The World Games Champion from 2017, when Muaythai first appeared at the Games. She was The World Games Athlete of the Year in 2016.
The Swiss orienteer Matthias Kyburz has won six medals at The World Games, including four golds. He won all three orienteering events (Sprint, Middle Distance and Sprint Relay) at The World Games 2013 in Colombia. In Wroclaw 2017 he took his fourth gold medal at the Middle Distance, and two silver medals. He also has four gold medals from World Championships.
Larysa Soloviova (UKR) has won four gold medals at The World Games between 2005 and 2017, one each time she has participated. Soloviova set her first world record back in 2001, and at the 2019 World Championship in the UAE she updated three records at once (Squats, Bench Press and Total). 25 years in sport at the highest level!
Paola Longoria (MEX) is a two-time champion of The World Games, having won in 2009 and 2013. Furthermore she has three individual and three doubles gold medals at the IRF World Championships, and all three gold medals at Pan American Games in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Fabriana Arias (COL) won 7 medals, of which 3 were gold, at The World Games 2017. Arias also has 15 World Speed Skating titles. She is also now a mother: she had a baby one year ago, but it didn't stop her from going back to competition and quickly regaining a spot in the Colombian National team.
Iuliia Kaplina (RUS) was bronze medallist at The World Games 2013 and then gold medallist in 2017. At the 2017 Games she actually beat her own Speed World Record, with a time of 07:32. This record stood until 2019. In November 2020 Kaplina broke the record again, with a time of 6:96.
Malaysia's Nicol David won three gold medals as well as a bronze at The World Games, between 2005 and 2017. She also won eight World Championship titles and had an unprecedented nine-year reign as World No.1. David was appointed UN Development Programme Ambassador for Malaysia in 2002, and she has set up her own foundation to enable young girls to take up sport, as a tool to help them establish their values.
Batyr Altyev (RUS) won both gold and silver at The World Games 2017. He won the silver medal in the Open class, where he fought against athletes close to twice his size! In addition he has a silver medal from The World Games 2013, gold and bronze from World Championships and four gold medals from European Championships.
Tug of War
James Kehoe (IRL) participated in an amazing number of editions of The World Games: 9 in all, between 1981 and 2013! He won 9 medals in total. His sporting career began in 1976, and he is still lining out on the rope to the present day. He is a real legend for Tug of War.
Waterski & Wakeboard
Patrice Martin (FRA) has won medals in Waterski at The World Games across three decades! He started with gold in the first edition in 1981 and finished with gold in 2001 in Akita. Altogether he has 8 medals from The World Games, of which six are golden. He is 12-times World Champion as well.
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.