World Games

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A multi-sports competition planned in 1980 by twelve international sports federations whose sports were not on the Olympic programme. They were organized by a Council for the World Games, which became the International World Games Association. The first event was held in Santa Clara, USA, in 1981, and it has offered a forum for less established sports to profile themselves in the global consciousness; badminton, tae kwon do, triathlon, and softball were featured at World Games before gaining their places in the Olympic programme (though softball has since been omitted from the programme). In the early 1990s, ESPN provided daily coverage, and in the later 1990s marketing company International Management Group (IMG) took the Games on as a client. It has been a modest growth for an event staged in Taiwan in 2009, but has served to boost the image of the non-Olympic sports, and the ambitions of federation administrators who seek to gain entry for their sport to the Olympic programme.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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