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The World Games, first held in 1981, are an international multi-sport event, meant for sports, or disciplines or events within a sport, that are not contested in the Olympic Games. The World Games are organised and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
A number of the sports that were on the program of the World Games are now included in the programme of the Olympic Games. (Badminton, Beach Volleyball, Gymnastics-Trampoline, Rugby sevens, Taekwondo, Triathlon and Weightlifting-Women)
Other sports have been Olympic sports in the past (like tug of war). With the current position of the IOC to limit the volume of participants in the Olympic Games to 10,500 participants, it is unlikely that many of the World Games sports will be elevated to Olympic sports.
Some of the sports that are currently held at the World Games are acrobatic gymnastics, ultimate, orienteering, body building, powerlifting, finswimming, squash, netball, water skiing, and casting. The sports that are included in the World Games are limited by the facilities available in the host city; no new facilities may be constructed for the games. Up to now between 25 and 35 sports were included in the programme of The World Games. The IWGA, in coordination with the host city, can invite some sport to participate in the "invitational" programme. No World Games medals are awarded to invitational sports.
|Year||Location||Hosts||Athletes* / Countries||Sports (Off./Inv.)|
|1981||Santa Clara, California||United States||1265/34||18/0|
- * without the invitational sports
Template:Multicol end Notes:
All-time medal table