World Games to shift dates to avoid OLY overlap

Olympics

The Olympic rings are seen Monday, March 30, 2020, in Tokyo. The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games. Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(AP) — The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to the summer of 2021 will have an impact on numerous other events — including an Olympic-style event for sports that are not part of the Summer Games.

The new dates for the Olympics — July 23-Aug. 8, 2021 — now overlaps with the 2021 World Games, which were set to be held in Birmingham, Alabama between July 15-25.

The International World Games Association says it will shift the dates of its signature event to an earlier date in 2021 or to a similar time in 2022.

The World Games began in 1981 and are held every four years to showcase disciplines that are not on the Olympic program, such as sumo, floorball, billiards, lifesaving, orienteering, dance sport and tug of war.

Birmingham won the right to stage the 11th edition, beating out Lima, Peru and Ufa, Russia to become the first U.S. host since Santa Clara, California for the inaugural World Games.

Birmingham expects some 3,600 athletes from more than 100 nations to participate.

The IWGA has been especially affected by the coronavirus outbreak that has largely shut down sports around the world. The organization’s president, José Perurena, has tested positive in Spain.

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