From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A multi-sport event is a competition in which athletes compete in a number of different sports.
The first modern multi-sport event organised were the Olympic Games, organised by the International Olympic Committee (est. 1894) for the first time in 1896 in Athens, Greece. After some badly organised celebrations (1900, 1904), the Olympics became very popular. The number of sports, initially only a few, is still growing.
At the beginning of the 20th century, another multi-sport event, the Nordic Games were first held. These Games were held in Scandinavia, and the sports conducted were winter sports such as cross country skiing and speed skating. The Nordic Games were last held in 1926, after which the 1924 Winter Sports Week in Chamonix was declared the first Olympic Winter Games.
In the 1920s, all kinds of other multi-sport events were set up. These were usually directed for a selected group of athletes, rather than everybody, which was - basically - the case with the Olympic Games. The Soviets organised the first Spartakiad in 1920, a communist alternative to the 'bourgeois' Olympic Games, and in 1922 the University Olympia was organised in Italy, the forerunner of the World University Games, meant for students only. Regional Games were another kind of multi-sport event that was established, such as the Far Eastern Championship Games or the Central American and Caribbean Games.
The Olympic Games are still the largest multi-sport event in the world, but several others also have significance. These are:
- Commonwealth Games, held first in 1930 (although similar games in 1911) for all nations from the Commonwealth of Nations
- Pan American Games, held first in 1951, for all nations of the Americas
- Asian Games, held first in 1951, for all Asian nations
- All-Africa Games, held first in 1965, for all African nations
- Southeast Asian Games, held first in 1959, for nations in Southeast Asia
- Goodwill Games, held first in 1986, held as an alternative after the boycotted Olympics of 1980 and 1984.
- World University Games, held first in 1923, also called Universiade.
- World Games, held first in 1981, stage many sports (though not all) that are not Olympic sports. The World Games is therefore sometimes also unofficially called Olympics for non-Olympic sports. (They cannot be called "Olympic" games without infringing on the Olympic committees' trademarks.)
- Maccabiah Games, first held in 1932, for Jewish athletes worldwide.
- Mediterranean Games, held first in 1951, for all nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea
- Pan Arab Games, held first in 1953, for Arabic nations.
- Francophone Games, held first in 1989, for nations that speak French
- Gay Games and World OutGames held first in 1982 and 2006, for the worldwide gay community
- Games of the Small States of Europe held first in 1985, for eight small states in Europe
- Arafura Games, held first in 1991 and hosted in the Oceania region.
- South Pacific Games, held first in 1963 for countries around the South Pacific
- World Masters Games, first held in 1985, for mature athletes.
- Commonwealth Youth Games, began in 2000.
- South American Games, began in 1978.
- Bolivarian Games, began in 1938, for countries liberated by Simón Bolívar.
- Lusophony Games, begun in 2006, for Portuguese-speaking countries.
- SAF Games, begin in 1984 for South Asian Countries
- World Police and Fire Games, begun in 1985, for law enforcement officers and firefighters worldwide; second only to the Summer Olympics in number of participants.
Other Games are intended for handicapped or disabled athletes. The Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games, incepted in 1948 in England, were the first such Games. In 1960, the first Paralympic Games were held, connected with the Olympic Games.