2021 World Games Postponed to 2022 to Accommodate Olympic Move

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 9

April 02nd, 2020 News

After the announcement that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games would begin on July 23rd, 2021, the rest of the global sporting calendar has begun to shift to accommodate the new insertion in the annual schedule.

While swimming brass at FINA have refused to consider a 2022 date for the World Championships that were originally scheduled in 2021, many other organizations are making just that move. That includes this week’s announcement that the 2021 World Games would move to 2022.

The event, hosted in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, will now run from July 7th-17th, 2022. The original dates were July 15th-25th, 2021, which would have run in direct conflict with the Olympic Games.

The World Games are a major multi-sport sporting event designed to host an Olympic-like experience for sports that are well-organized globally, but haven’t been accepted as Olympic sports yet. In other cases, the event has found a home for Olympic sports that lost their status, including softball and tug-o-war.

For example, the sports of karate and sport climbing, which will make their debut at the Tokyo Olympic Games, were competed at the World Games in 2017. Those 2017 Games in Wroclaw, Poland had 199 official medal events and 3,214 participants from 102 nations.

The two aquatic sports on the World Games calendar are Finswimming, featuring 14 medal events, and lifesaving, which features 8 events. Finswimming looks a lot like regular pool swimming, with the exception that athletes swim different events with fins (monofins and bi-fins) with events including submerged and surface swimming. In lifesaving, competitors essentially complete aquatic obstacle course challenges.

Birmingham was first awarded the World Games in 2015, beating out Ufa, Russia and Lima, Peru for hosting rights. The World Games are held every 4 years.

The 2021 World Games will include 30 official sports plus 3 invitational sports. The International World Games Association is composed of 37 international sports federations that are also recognized by the IOC.

2021 World Games (in 2022) Sports Listing

Artistic & Dance Sports

  • Gymnastics (Acrobatic, Aerobic, Parkour, Rhythmic, Trampoline, Tumbling)
  • Dancesport (Latin, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Standard, Breakdancing)

Ball Sports

  • Canoe (Canoe Polo, Kayak Marathon)
  • Fistball
  • Floorball
  • Beach Handball
  • Korfball
  • Racquetball
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Lacrosse (women’s)

Martial Arts

  • Jiu Jitsu
  • Karate
  • Kick Boxing
  • Muaythai
  • Sumo

Precision Sports

  • Archery (Compound Target, Field Recurve, Field Barebow)
  • Billiards (Carom, Pool – 9-Ball, Snooker 15 – Reds)
  • Boules (Lyonnaise, Petanque)
  • Bowling

Strength Sports

  • Powerlifting
  • Tug of War

Trend Sports

  • Air Sports (Canopy Piloting, Drone Racing)
  • Finswimming (Apnoea, Surface, Bi-fins)
  • Flying Disc (Ultimate)
  • Lifesaving
  • Orienteering
  • Roller Sports (artistic roller skating, inline hockey, inline speed skating)
  • Sport Climbing (Lead, Speed, Bouldering)
  • Waterski & Wakeboard (Slalom Waterski, Tricks waterski, Jump waterski)

Invitational Sports

  • Duathlon
  • Lacrosse (men’s)
  • Wheelchair Rugby


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2 years ago

It’s in Birmingham? Kind of a weird location for a world champs

2 years ago

How do I qualify for this? That’s a dream event right there

Reply to  Nswim
2 years ago


No fins – slowest kicker in team
Fins – lapping people

2 years ago

I really want to see some Americans to attend fin swimming.

This could be a money maker for Lochte tbh.

Hill Taylor back in the day

Reply to  Xman
2 years ago

I wonder which elite swimmer has the most powerful kick with fins.

John Hoskins
Reply to  Swimman222
11 months ago

Easy. Misty Hyman. still an American Record Holder.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Xman
2 years ago

Phelps did 100m in 38.1 with a monofin in open waters in 2017. Isn’t the world record in a pool like 34? It’s also done with a snorkel.

Reply to  Xman
2 years ago

I googled USA finswimming out of curiosity and it seems Misty Hyman has some American Records. I only knew her as a regular swimmer.

John Hoskins
Reply to  Carlos
11 months ago

Misty has been a big monofin swimmer for years. Also with us has been Pablo Morales, Jenny Thompson, and many more.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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