A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports among organized teams of athletes from (mostly) nation-states. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of international significance is the modern Olympic Games.
Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.
A nation state is a state in which the great majority shares the same culture and is conscious of it. The nation state is an ideal in which cultural boundaries match up with political ones. According to one definition, "a nation state is a sovereign state of which most of its subjects are united also by factors which defined a nation such as language or common descent." It is a more precise concept than "country", since a country does not need to have a predominant ethnic group.
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.
Many regional multi-sport events have since been founded on and modeled after the Olympics. Most have the same basic structure. Games are held over the course of several days in and around a "host city", which changes for each competition. Countries send national teams to each competition, consisting of individual athletes and teams that compete in a wide variety of sports. Athletes or teams are awarded gold, silver or bronze medals for first, second and third place respectively. The games are generally held every four years, though some are annual competitions.
A gold medal is a medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture.
A silver medal in sports and other similar areas involving competition is a medal made of, or plated with, silver awarded to the second-place finisher, or runner-up, of contests or competitions such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. The outright winner receives a gold medal and the third place a bronze medal. More generally, silver is traditionally a metal sometimes used for all types of high-quality medals, including artistic ones.
A bronze medal in sports and other similar areas involving competition is a medal made of bronze awarded to the third-place finisher of contests or competitions such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. The outright winner receives a gold medal and the second place a silver medal. More generally, bronze is traditionally the most common metal used for all types of high-quality medals, including artistic ones. The practice of awarding bronze third place medals began at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, Missouri, before which only first and second places were awarded.
The Ancient Olympic Games, first held in 776 BC, was the precursor to the Modern Olympic Games, although its first edition only featured a footrace and the number of sporting competitions expanded at later editions.
The ancient Olympic Games were originally a festival, or celebration of and for Zeus; later, events such as a footrace, a javelin contest, and wrestling matches were added. The Olympic Games were a series of athletic competitions among representatives of city-states and one of the Panhellenic Games of ancient Greece. They were held in honor of Zeus, and the Greeks gave them a mythological origin. The first Olympics is traditionally dated to 776 BC. They continued to be celebrated when Greece came under Roman rule, until the emperor Theodosius I suppressed them in AD 393 as part of the campaign to impose Christianity as the State religion of Rome. The games were held every four years, or olympiad, which became a unit of time in historical chronologies.
There were several other "games" held in Europe in the classical era:
Classical antiquity is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 5th or 6th century AD centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.
The Nemean Games were one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, and were held at Nemea every two years.
Isthmian Games or Isthmia were one of the Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, and were named after the Isthmus of Corinth, where they were held. As with the Nemean Games, the Isthmian Games were held both the year before and the year after the Olympic Games, while the Pythian Games were held in the third year of the Olympiad cycle.
The Isthmus of Corinth is the narrow land bridge which connects the Peloponnese peninsula with the rest of the mainland of Greece, near the city of Corinth. The word "isthmus" comes from the Ancient Greek word for "neck" and refers to the narrowness of the land. The Isthmus was known in the ancient world as the landmark separating the Peloponnese from mainland Greece. In the first century AD the geographer Strabo noted a stele on the Isthmus of Corinth, which bore two inscriptions. One towards the East, i.e. towards Megara, reading: "Here is not Peloponnesus, but Ionia" and the one towards the West, i.e. towards the Peloponnese: "Here is Peloponnesus, not Ionia" ; Plutarch ascribed the erection of the stele to the Attic hero Theseus, on his way to Athens.
"Panhellenic Games" is the collective term for four separate sports festivals held in ancient Greece. The four Games were:
The Pythian Games were one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece. They were held in honour of Apollo every four years at his sanctuary at Delphi. They were held two years after each Olympic Games, and between each Nemean and Isthmian Games. The Pythian Games were founded sometime in the 6th century BC and featured competitions for art and dance. The art and dance competitions pre-dated the athletic portion of the games, and were said to have been started by Apollo after he killed Python and set up the oracle at Delphi.
Delphi, formerly also called Pytho (Πυθώ), is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The ancient Greeks considered the centre of the world to be in Delphi, marked by the stone monument known as the omphalos (navel).
Other multi-sport festivals emerged in the Middle Ages in Europe, including the Cotswold Olimpick Games in England in the 1600s, the Highland Games in Scotland, and the Olympiade de la République in France in the 1800s.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, athletes at multi-sport events were almost exclusively male. As international women's sport began to develop, events such as the Women's World Games and Olympics of Grace were held to allow women to engage in sport on the international stage. Though short-lived, events such as these led to greater inclusion of women at multi-sport events over the course of the 20th century.
Since the establishment of the Olympics, most serial multi-sport events have been organized for specific audiences and participating countries or communities. These affiliations include:
The first modern multi-sport event organised were the Olympic Games, organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (est. 1894) for the first time in 1896 in Athens, Greece. After some celebrations (1900, 1904), the Olympics became very popular nowadays. The number of sports, initially only a few, is still growing.
The Paralympic Games is the largest multi-sport event involving athletes with physical disabilities, and is organised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Arranged for the first time in 1960 in Rome, Italy. The number of sports, initially only a few, is still growing.
The first Special Olympics International Summer Games were held in Chicago, Ill., in 1968. The most recent Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, United States, involved 25 sports and approximately 6,500 athletes from 177 countries.
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 (1913), the Central American and Caribbean Games (1926) or the Pan American Games (1951).
The Olympic Games are still the largest multi-sport event in the world in terms of worldwide interest and importance (though no longer in participation), but several others also have significance.
Other Games are intended for handicapped or disabled athletes. The International Silent Games, first held in Paris in 1924, were the first Games for deaf athletes. The Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games, K incepted in 1948 in England, were the first Games for wheelchair athletes. In 1960, the first Paralympic Games were held, connected with the Olympic Games. The Special Olympics World Games, for athletes with intellectual disabilities, were first held in 1968.
Disabled sports, also adaptive sports or parasports, are sports played by people with a disability, including physical and intellectual disabilities. As many disabled sports are based on existing able bodied sports, modified to meet the needs of persons with a disability, they are sometimes referred to as adapted sports. However, not all disabled sports are adapted; several sports that have been specifically created for persons with a disability have no equivalent in non-disabled sports. Disability exists in four categories: physical, mental, permanent and temporary.
The Commonwealth Games are an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930, and has taken place every four years since then. The Commonwealth Games were known as the British Empire Games from 1930 to 1950, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games from 1954 to 1966, and British Commonwealth Games from 1970 to 1974. It is the world's first multi-sport event which inducted equal number of women’s and men’s medal events and was implemented recently in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking.
The 1992 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVI Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 8 to 23 February 1992 in Albertville, France. They were the last Winter Olympics to be held the same year as the Summer Olympics, and the first where the Winter Paralympics were held at the same site. Albertville was selected as host in 1986, beating Sofia, Falun, Lillehammer, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Anchorage and Berchtesgaden. The games were the third Winter Olympics held in France, after Chamonix in 1924 and Grenoble in 1968, and the fifth Olympics overall in the country.
The Pan American Games is a major sporting event in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The competition is held among athletes from nations of the Americas, every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games. The only Winter Pan American Games were held in 1990. And from 2021, there would be a Junior Pan American Games for young athletes. The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) is the governing body of the Pan American Games movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter.
The 1998 Winter Paralympics, the seventh Winter Paralympics, were held alongside the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan from March 5 to March 14, 1998. They were the first Paralympic Winter Games to be held outside Europe. 571 athletes competed in Nagano; it still remains the highest number of athletes competing at any Winter Paralympics.
The 1984 Winter Paralympic Games were the third Winter Paralympics. They were held from 14 to 20 January 1984 in Innsbruck, Austria. They were the first Winter Games organized by the International Co-ordinating Committee (ICC), which was formed on March 15, 1982, in Leysin, Switzerland. These Games were accessible for all athletes with cerebral palsy. For the first time, an exhibition event was held at the Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo and 30 male three-track skiers took part in the Giant Slalom event. Three sports were contested: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and ice sledge speed racing. The most successful athlete was German alpine skier Reinhild Moeller, who won 3 gold medals and 1 silver medal. The Games, then known as the Third World Winter Games for the Disabled, were fully sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The 2006 Winter Paralympic Games, the ninth Winter Paralympics, took place in Turin, Italy from 10 to 19 March 2006. These were the first Winter Paralympic Games to be held in Italy. They were also the first Paralympics to use the new Paralympics logo.
The Spartakiad was an international sports event that was sponsored by the Soviet Union. Five international Spartakiades were held from 1928 to 1937. Later Spartakiads were organized as national sport events of the Eastern Bloc countries. The games were organised by Red Sport International.
The Maccabiah Games, first held in 1932, are an international Jewish and Israeli multi-sport event now held quadrennially in Israel. It is the third-largest sporting event in the world, with 10,000 athletes competing. The Maccabiah Games were declared a "Regional Sports Event" by, and under the auspices and supervision of, the International Olympic Committee in 1961.
The African Games, formally known as the All-Africa Games or the Pan African Games, are a continental multi-sport event held every four years, organized by the African Union (AU) with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC).
The Paralympic sports comprise all the sports contested in the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. As of 2016, the Summer Paralympics included 22 sports and 526 medal events, and the Winter Paralympics include 5 sports and disciplines and about 72 events. The number and kinds of events may change from one Paralympic Games to another.
The Pan American Sports Organization is an international organization which represents the current 41 National Olympic Committees of North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The Winter Paralympic Games is an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete in snow & ice sports. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Winter Paralympic Games are held every four years directly following the Winter Olympic Games. The Winter Paralympics are also hosted by the city that hosted the Winter Olympics. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) oversees the Winter Paralympics. Medals are awarded in each event: with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, following the tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.
The 2018 Winter Paralympics, the 12th Paralympic Winter Games, and also more generally known as the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, were an international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), that was held in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea, from 9 to 18 March 2018. They were the second Paralympics to be held in South Korea, following the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul.
Pakistan is a member of the South Asian Zone of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), has participated in the Asian Games since their second edition in 1954. The Pakistan Olympic Association, established in 1948, and recognised in the same year by the International Olympic Committee, is the National Olympic Committee for Pakistan.
INAS was established in 1986 by professionals in the Netherlands who were involved in sport and wanted to promote the participation of athletes with mental handicap in elite sport. The organisations brand name is the International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport, promoting sport worldwide for athletes with an Intellectual Disability, Autism and Down's Syndrome.
The European Games is an international multi-sport event in the Olympic tradition contested by athletes from European nations. The Games were envisioned and are to be governed by the European Olympic Committees (EOC), which announced their launch at its 41st General Assembly in Rome, on 8 December 2012. The 2015 European Games, the first edition of the event, took place in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2015, and further editions are planned every four years thereafter. The 2019 edition is scheduled for Minsk, Belarus from 21-30 June.
International Workers' Olympiads were an international sporting event arranged between 1925 and 1937 by Socialist Workers' Sport International (SASI). It was an organisation supported by social democratic parties and International Federation of Trade Unions. Workers' Olympiads were an alternate event for the Olympic Games. The participants were members of various labor sports associations and came mostly from Europe. Nowadays the CSIT World Sports Games are the successor sports events of the International Workers' Olympiads. The "World Sports Games" is the main highlight and a new Brand of the CSIT. It is a unique major sports event for thousands of workers and amateurs every two years. The CSIT is an international Multi-Sports Organization.