Riyadh has been awarded to host the 2023 edition of the World Combat Games (WCG), an international multi-sport event featuring 15 combat sports and martial arts, the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the umbrella organization for all international sports federations, has announced.
The WCG is an incredible celebration of combat sports and martial arts, showcasing the world’s best athletes and driving global exposure for these sports and the host city.
Powered by GAISF, the WCG strives to establish bridges between elite sport and local communities through inspiring initiatives encouraging youth participation in combat sports and martial arts.
Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, who is also the chairman of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC), said: “Saudi Arabia is looking forward to welcoming athletes from all parts of the world to the Kingdom.”
“Saudi Arabia is very much aligned with the Olympic Values and this event is within the country’s vision for 2030 to promote a vibrant society with a diverse and thriving economy.”
“Saudi Arabia has the infrastructure and will use this event to strengthen the martial arts community in Saudi Arabia and use this multi-sport games as one of the first major events toward the Asian Games 2034,” he added.
GAISF president Raffaele Chiulli stated: “The World Combat Games is much more than a sporting event powered by GAISF, it is part of an MoU between GAISF and the IOC. The WCG represents sports as much from the Non-Olympic, as from the Olympic family. The next steps will be to finalize the sports program with the International Sports Federations and obtaining the final approval from the IOC.”
Chairman of the GAISF multi-sport games and GAISF vice president, Stephan Fox, who is also a former martial art world champion, said: “Saudi Arabia is an ideal choice for this post-pandemic event showcasing an exchange of culture from around the world and is the perfect bridge between elite sport and local communities.”
“The bid presented by Saudi is robust and inspiring. The vision for this event will bring a festival celebratory atmosphere. There will be workshops by leading martial art masters, educational conferences and the first World Martial Arts Gala, honoring the legends of martial arts and combat sports,” Fox added.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed during a special ceremony at the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee’s (SAOC) General Assembly, which included all recognized martial arts and combat sport national federations. — SG