List of multi-sport events

A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports between organized teams of athletes from (mostly) nation-states. Events are typically held over a few days to accommodate the large number of events held, often more than those in single-sport competitions. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of international significance was the modern Olympic Games. Some of the most recognised sporting events in the world today are multi-sport events — the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games, the Pan American Games and the Mediterranean Games — among others. This article lists all major multi-sport events, whether defunct or functioning, in the modern day. A full listing of all major multi-sport events is provided in the table below.

Transnational multi-sport events are often organised across concords of cultural elements between nations. These include language, such as the Francophone Games for French-speaking nations; ethnic, such as the Maccabiah Games for Jewish athletes; political, such as the Spartakiad used to oppose the Olympics; occupation, such as the Universiade for university students; and gender, such as World Outgames for the gay community. Participation is also delineated across other lines including region, religion, age, and season (winter instead of summer). A number of multi-sport events are held within nations, where athletes representing various intra-national states or districts compete against each other; these include the Thailand National Games and the National Games of China. These differences in intended audiences are highlighted in the table.


Prior to the modern day, there were instances of multi-sport events held centuries or millennia in the past. The Tailteann Games, held near modern Telltown in Ireland, was one of the first multi-sport festivals to be recorded, with a history that traces back to 1829 BC. There were several other games held in Europe in the classical era. the Panhellenic Games encompassed the Ancient Olympic Games, which was the precursor to the modern Olympic Games; the Pythian Games; the Nemean Games; and the Isthmian Games. The Roman Games, held in ancient Rome, focused on Greek sports as well as the Etruscan sport of gladiatorial combat. Other multi-sport festivals emerged in the Middle Ages in Europe, including the Cotswold Olimpick Games in England, the Highland games in Scotland still in existence today, and the Olympiade de la République in France in the 19th century.

As these multi-sport events or festivals occurred pre-20th century, when the rules for today's modern sports were largely different or yet to be established, these are not included in the table. The events noted in this section documents all known historical multi-sport events.


Multi-sport events can be classified by scope. Some cater to international audiences; some to regional audiences; and some are held within nations. These differences are presented in the table as well, in addition to other divisions such as ethnicity and historical origins as described earlier.

Only a few modern multi-sport events cater to international audiences without cultural or political boundaries. The most famous of these is the Olympic Games. The others are namely the World Games, established to host sports not within the Olympic scope; the World Mind Sports Games, which hosts competitions in mind sports which are not found in either of the two abovementioned events; the X Games and the Winter X Games, organised for extreme action sports; the World Combat Games, for martial arts and combat sports; and the now-cancelled Goodwill Games.

Similarly, there are also regional multi-sport events held that purely cater to regional audiences regardless of cultural and/or political elements. These are often grouped by continent and sub-continental regions. The Asian Games are held for athletes in Asia; the Central Asian Games, the East Asian Games, the South Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games cater to Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia respectively, which are all regions of the Asian continent. In the Americas, the largest multi-sport event that fits the description is the Pan American Games. The other multi-sport events in the continent are the South American Games, the Central American Games, the Central American and Caribbean Games and the Central American Games.

List of major multi-sport events

The criteria in listing a multi-sport event is as follows: The event should have received significant media coverage where it is covered; national, regional, or international. At the same time, organisation of the event is taken charge by a formal body, with at least one sport in the event sanctioned by an international sports federation that is recognised by the International Olympic Committee or the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

Title Est.1 Abl.2 Rec.3 Scope Elements limiting audience4 Notes
AAU Junior Olympic Games1967-1NationalAge
Afro-Asian Games20032003-Regional
ALBA Games2005-2RegionalColonial ties
African Games1965-4Regional
African Youth Games2010-RegionalAge
Arafura Games1991-International
Arctic Winter Games1970-2RegionalSport type
Arnold Sports Festival1984-InternationalOver 18,000 Athletes compete in more than 40 different sports.
ASEAN ParaGames2001-2RegionalDisabled
Asian Beach Games2008-2RegionalSport type
Asian Games1951-4Regional
Asian Indoor Games200520092RegionalSport type
Asian Indoor-Martial Arts Games2013-RegionalSport type
Asian Martial Arts Games200920092RegionalSport type
Asian Para Games2010-4RegionalDisabled
Asian Winter Games1986-4Regional
Asian Youth Games2009-4RegionalAge
Asian Youth Para Games2009-4RegionalDisabled, age
Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games2012-RegionalOccupation
Australian Youth Olympic Festival2007RegionalAge
Balkan Games192920101Regional
Black Sea Games2007-4RegionalInvolving nations bordering the Black Sea.
Bolivarian Games19384RegionalColonial ties
Canada Games1967-NationalIncludes winter edition.
CANUSA Games1958RegionalAge
Central African Games19761987Regional
Central American and Caribbean Games1926-4Regional
Central American Games1973-Regional
Central Asian Games19952Regional
Children of Asia International Sports Games1996RegionalAgeLaunched in 1996; devoted to the 100th anniversary of the Olympic movement.
Chungcheongbuk-do Junior Sports Festival1972-1Provinces
Chungcheongbuk-do Sports Festival1962-1Provinces
Chungcheongnam-do Sports Festival1949-1Provinces
Commonwealth Games19304InternationalColonial ties, languageInvolving nations in the Commonwealth of Nations. Includes winter edition.
Commonwealth Youth Games2000-4InternationalColonial ties, language, age
CPISRA World Games1989-InternationalDisabled
CPLP Games1990-InternationalAge, language
Deaflympics1924-4InternationalDisabledLongest running multi-sport event excluding the Olympic Games.[1] Includes winter edition.
Défi sportif1984InternationalDisabled
East Asian Games199320134RegionalOrganised by the East Asian Games Association (EAGA) for East Asian nations as well as the Pacific island of Guam (Oceania).
EuroGames1992-RegionalSexual orientation
European Games2015-4RegionalNewest multi-sport event.
European Masters Games2008-4Regional
European Youth Olympic Festival1991-2RegionalAgeIncludes winter edition.[2]
Extremity Games2006-1InternationalDisabled
Far Eastern Championship Games191319382Regional
FESPIC Games197520064Regional
FESPIC Youth Games20032003-RegionalAge
Friendship Games19841984-International
Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO)19631966InternationalSet up by Indonesia in late 1962 as a counter to the Olympic Games, with participation meant for so-called "emerging nations".
Games of the Small States of Europe1985-2RegionalPopulation size
Gangwon-do Sports Festival1966-1Provinces
Gay Games1982-4InternationalSexual orientationOrganized by and specifically for the LGBT community, although people of every sexual orientation and every skill level can participate.
Goodwill Games198620014InternationalCreated by Ted Turner in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games in the 1980s; last held in 2001. Included winter edition.
Gyeonggi-do Sports Festival1955-1Provinces
Gyeongsangbuk-do Junior Sports Festival2004-1Provinces
Gyeongsangbuk-do Sports Festival1963-1Provinces
Gyeongsangbuk-do Students Sports Festival200420081Provinces
Gyeongsangnam-do Sports Festival1962-1Provinces
Indian Ocean Island Games1979-4RegionalReligion
Inter-Allied Games19191919-RegionalReligion
Invictus Games2014-1InternationalOccupationMilitary wounded. Originated in the United Kingdom and held internationally
Islamic Solidarity Games2005-RegionalReligionInvolves member-states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
Island Games1985-2Regional
IWAS World Games1948-1InternationalDisabled
Jeollabuk-do Sports Festival1964-1Provinces
Jeollanam-do Sports Festival1962-1Provinces
Jeux de la Francophonie1989-4International
Kingdom Games1995-2National
Korean National Junior Sports Festival1972-1National
Korean National Para Games1981-1National
Korean National Sports Festival1934-1National
Korean National Winter Para Games2004-1National
Korean National Winter Sports Festival1934-1National
Korean National Youth Para Games2008-1NationalDisabled, age
Lakota Nation Invitational1976--National
Liberty Bell Classic19801980-International
Lithuanian National Olympics193820064InternationalFirst games held in 1938, but 2nd games did not held until 1998.[3]
Lusophony Games2006-4InternationalColonial ties, language
Maccabiah Games1932-4International
Mediterranean Games1951-4Regional
Micronesian Games1969-4Regional
Military World Games1995-InternationalOccupationMilitary personnel
Mind Sports Olympiad1997-1InternationalReduced in size after 2000.[4]
National Games of the People's Republic
of China
Nitro World Games2016--InternationalSport type
Nordic Games19011926Regional
North American Indigenous Games1990-4Regional
Olympic Games1896-4International
Pacific Games19634Regional
Pacific Mini Games1981-4Regional
Palarong Pambansa1948-1NationalAgeSport Events held annually for the elementary and high school students in the Philippines
Pan American Games1951-4Regional
Pan American Sports Festival2014-4Regional
Pan Arab Games1953-Regional
Pan-Armenian Games1999-International
Paralympic Games1960-4InternationalDisabled
Parapan American Games1999-4RegionalDisabled
People's Olympiad19361936-International
South American Games1978-4Regional
South Asian Games1984-2Regional
South Pacific Games196320074Regional
Pacific Pacific Mini Games198120054Regional
SELL Student Games1923-1InternationalAge
Southeast Asian Games1959-2Regional
Special Olympics1968-InternationalDisabled
State Games of America (National Congress of State Games component games listed below)1999--National
TAFISA World Sport for All Games1992-4InternationalSport typeAlso called the World Traditional Sports and Games Festival. The 6th edition in Jakarta will involve over 100 countries. [5]
Tailteann Games19241936InternationalEthnicityA revival of the ancient Tailteann Games of Gaelic Ireland
Warrior Games2010-1InternationalOccupationMilitary wounded. Held in the United States and open to U.S. and British armed forces personnel
West Asian Games1997-4Regional
Women's Islamic Games1993-4RegionalReligion, sex
World Festival of Youth and Students1947-InternationalAge
World Lithuanians Games1978-4InternationalStarted in 1978 in Canada, since 1991 usually held in Lithuania (Athletes from Lithuania itself debuted only in 3rd Games in 1988).[6]
World Games1981-4International
World Interuniversity Games1999-1InternationalAge
World Masters Games1985-4International
World Mind Sports Games2008-International
World OutGames2006-InternationalSexual orientation
World Police and Fire Games1985-2InternationalOccupation
World Wheelchair and Amputee Games1948-1InternationalDisabled
X Games1995-1NationalSport typeWinter X Games
Youth Olympic Games2010-4InternationalAge

1. Established – Year in which first edition was held   2. Abolished – Year in which last edition was held   3. Recurrence (in years)   4. Cultural and/or political elements that limit audiences as intended (e.g. ethnicity, religion, gender, occupation)

Component games

National Congress of State Games

See also


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