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  • World Games First; Rogge Pledges Support to Event


    The Cali 2013 mascots-- Bichofue Griton. (Getty Images)
    The World Games will take place in Cali, Colombia July 25 to August 4. It is the ninth edition of the Games, and the first time they will take place in South America.

    A total of 4500 athletes and officials from 101 countries will take part. The 31 sports are all recognized sports that are not part of the Olympic Program. By number of sports, it will be the largest sporting event of 2013.

    Rugby Sevens will say farewell to the World Games in Cali. It is set to join the Olympic Program in Rio 2016, and was previously the marquee event at the Games.

    Squash or softball could also make a final appearance. The sports are bidding to join the Olympic Program for 2020, along with wrestling.

    The opening ceremony of the 2009 World Games (Getty Images)
    “Thousands of visitors and millions of Colombians will be able to enjoy a true sporting party for the World,” a World Games statement said in advance of the opening ceremony.

    Scheduled for July 25, 35,000 spectators are expected for the sold-out event. IOC president Jacques Rogge will be one of those in attendance.

    Rogge tells Around the Rings the International World Games Association is an important part of the Olympic Movement.

    The Belgian, who is traveling to Cali in Colombia on Wednesday to attend his last World Games before stepping down in September, said: "Whatever way we can help them we will
    Sumo, one of the sports at the World Games. (Getty Images0
    help them. We take them seriously. The World Games is the opportunity to show the world their sports.

    "I think what they are doing with the World Games is very good. They understand they cannot make them too big, too costly or too sophisticated."

    To help stage the event, a corps of 3,500 volunteers has been enlisted.

    National TV Station RCTV is the host broadcaster and 120 hours of broadcast time are scheduled.

    Wroclaw, Poland will host the 2017 edition.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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