1 WEEK. 9 SPORTS. 1000 WORLD CLASS ATHLETES.
Watch the highlights here
The Global Games are the world’s biggest elite sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment.
More than 1,000 athletes from all around the globe gather every four years to compete for medals in 9 sports including athletics, swimming, table tennis, rowing, basketball, futsal, tennis, taekwondo and cycling. Demonstration events are also included at every edition. These reflect the most popular sports of the host nation not already on the Virtus programme.
The Global Games are also an important event in the build-up to the Paralympic Games. Many athletes who have made their major international debut at the Global Games have gone on to win Paralympic titles.
The first multi-sport event for athletes with an intellectual impairment were held in Harnosand, Sweden, in 1989. Named ‘the 1st World Games for Athletes with an Intellectual Disability’, they took place three years after the organisation was launched in 1986.
Over the following years the focus shifted to getting onto the Paralympic programme, adding sports and countries. More information about this can be found on the history of Virtus. Then after more than a decade of continued development of sport for athletes with an intellectual impairment, the Global Games returned to their roots in Sweden.
Results from all Global Games can be found at the results, rankings and records page.
Upcoming Global Games
The search for the hosts of the 2023 Games began on 1st February 2018. Expected to be the most competitive process yet, it will culminate with the winning host being announced in early 2020.
Member Organisations who are interested in bidding to host the event – the 6th edition of the Games – can find details here.