In contrast to other multi-sport events, such as the Olympics, host towns are not required to build new venues or infrastructure for the Games. The contestants are chosen by the international federations of the sports, rather than by national Olympic Committees or regulatory organizations. As a result, most countries can only send one team to World Games events.
The locations of the Games vary over time and from event to event. They are usually selected three years in advance of the event and must be within OLYMPIC REGIONAL DISTRICTS (ORCs). These are geographical areas defined by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for purposes of allocating funds and services during the planning process for each Olympic city. Each district can include a single country or an entire continent. The last World Games were held in India in 2014. Future games will be held in Lima, Peru.
Since 1989, when Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France was selected as the venue for the first World Games, there have been seven others: in Changchun and Beijing, China; Durban, South Africa; Guadalajara, Mexico; Hyderabad, India; Istanbul, Turkey; and São Paulo, Brazil. The 2009 World Games were cancelled due to the global financial crisis and lack of funding.
The International World Games Association governs the World Games, which are overseen by the International Olympic Committee. In recent editions, the "official" schedule has featured between 25 and 30 sports. The most recent games were held in China from 6 to 20 June 2010.
The World Games are designed to promote international friendship through sport while providing a unique opportunity for young athletes to compete against players from all over the world. The first games were held in Cali, Colombia, in 1989. They were initially known as the World Student Games but were renamed after the successful application for the following year's event in Beijing. The games are now called World Games because they are held once every four years and the next edition will be in Guangzhou, China, in 2014.
World Games are not recognized as official Olympic events but they can affect how countries select their teams for the Olympics. For example, if a country selects its best athletes instead of its junior ones, this could affect who represents them at the Olympics. Sometimes, countries might even send their senior teams to certain events rather than their juniors if they feel that they have more experienced players who could benefit from the competition. This happened at the 2008 Summer Games when Australia sent its senior team to the 100m sprint instead of its youth squad.
The IOC and its committee select the host city for the Olympic Games. Many nations compete for the privilege to host the Games, since the Games have expanded tremendously over the years to become the world's greatest sporting event, with significant social, economic, and cultural advantages for the host country. The decision is based on criteria such as security, facilities, funding, and the will of the city to stage the events.
All cities interested in bidding for the Olympics must submit a proposal by January 5, 2015. The commission then selects up to three candidates who will go through an interview process. The city that wins this vote becomes the host for the following summer games. If no city qualifies by March 15, another round of voting begins where the previous year's hosts are excluded from the ballot and their cities can make new bids.
This process has been used successfully five times before (Tokyo in 1964, Munich in 1972, Montreal in 1976, Calgary in 2002, and Athens in 2004). It has also been used once after the original selection process (Rio de Janeiro in 2016). In Moscow today, there is a permanent exhibition at the State Museum of Sports entitled "40 Years Without Soviet Olympic Athletes". The exhibition tells the story of how many Soviet athletes failed to make it to Tokyo because of the political system then existing within the USSR.