LAUSANNE – The 10th edition of the World Games will be held in Wroclaw, Poland, July 20-30. More than 3,000 athletes from 31 sports--64 of them bowlers--and 111 countries will take part in the biggest sports event ever staged in Poland, under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The largest number of athletes comes from the host country, with a combined 218 Polish athletes and teams competing. France is a close second, with its 193 athletes/teams, while Italy is sending 167. Russia and Germany will both send 139, and the biggest non-European country is the USA with 125 athletes/teams.
The official sports at The 2017 World Games include Air Sports, Archery, Beach Handball, Billiards, Boules Sport, Bowling, Canoeing, Dance Sport, Fistball, Floorball, Flying Disc, Gymnastics, Ju-Jitsu, Karate, Korfball, Lacrosse, Life Saving, Muaythai, Orienteering, Powerlifting, Roller Sports, Sport Climbing, Squash, Sumo, Tug of War, Underwater Sports, and Water Ski & Wakeboard.
Added to this are the invitational sports American Football, Kickboxing, Indoor Rowing and Speedway. To see the schedule for the different sports and disciplines.
Dr. Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, has confirmed that he will be present at The World Games Opening Ceremony in Wroclaw on July 20. In his letter to IWGA President José Perurena, the IOC President states that he will also attend several sports events during his stay. It will not be the first time that Dr. Bach attends an Opening Ceremony of The World Games. He was also present at the opening of The World Games 2013 in Cali, Colombia, together with Jacques Rogge, his predecessor. Thomas Bach was Vice President of the IOC at that time.
Former World Games sport Rugby made it to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and Karate, Sport Climbing, Surfing and Baseball/Softball will be present in Tokyo 2020. Earlier, The World Games sports of Badminton, Triathlon and Taekwondo became Olympic sports in 2000 and Beach Volleyball in 1996. Dance Sport will be on the program of the Youth Olympics 2018 as well as Karate and Sport Climbing. IWGA President José Perurena calls the World Games “a stepping stone to the Olympics.”
IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell said, “As we look for getting more flexibility into the program of the Olympic Games in the future, certainly The World Games is one of the areas we are looking to observe, see the sports, see them performed at a very high level and with the best athletes in those sports. Obviously we are looking for sports that bring a real value to the program.”