The World Games 2021 Birmingham Loading Icon

The World Games

History of the World Games

The World Games is an extraordinary, international sports event held every four years, in the year following each Summer Olympic Games. Staged over 11 days, The Games represent the pinnacle of competition for 3,600 of the world’s best athletes in 32 unique, multi-disciplinary sports. The World Games generates worldwide exposure for participating sports and provides a highly visible stage on which athletes from more than 100 countries compete for gold.

More than 600 medals will be awarded to the competing athletes, including 200 gold medals for the ultimate champions in each discipline. The World Games 2021 will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, United States from July 7 – 17, 2022, generating an estimated economic impact of $256 million for the city. Marking The World Games’ 40th anniversary, this will be the first edition of the event to be hosted in the United States since the inaugural World Games in Santa Clara, California, in 1981.

The Games are led by the International World Games Association (IWGA), a non-profit organization that is composed of 37 International Sports Federations and recognized by The International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The World Games Host Cities

  • 1981

    Santa Clara, CA, United States
  • 1985

    London, Great Britain
  • 1989

    Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 1993

    The Hague, Netherlands
  • 1997

    Lahti, Finland
  • 2001

    Akita, Japan
  • 2005

    Duisburg, Germany
  • 2009

    Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei
  • 2013

    Cali, Colombia
  • 2017

    Wroclaw, Poland
  • 2021

    Birmingham, AL, United States

The World Games Birmingham

July 7-17, 2022

Our Mission: The principal goal of The World Games 2021 Birmingham is to produce Olympic-quality competitions that showcase and increase awareness for the participating sports, athletes and countries. In doing so, the event will engage the host community to leave a legacy of accomplishment and civic pride for Birmingham and the State of Alabama.