World Games 1981
|Host city||Santa Clara|
|Athletes participating||1,400 (est.)|
|Opening ceremony||24 July 1981|
|Closing ceremony||2 August 1981|
|Officially opened by||Dr. Un Yong Kim of Korea, president of World Games I executive committee|
|Main venue||Buck Shaw Stadium|
The 1981 World Games were the first World Games and were held in Santa Clara, California in the United States. The games featured sports that were not included in the Olympics, including tug-of-war, racquetball, baseball and softball, artistic roller skating, roller hockey, roller speed skating, fin swimming, karate, women's water polo, bowling, bodybuilding, casting and taekwondo. Best estimates for attendance figures were that about 80,000 spectators witnessed the first World Games.
102 titles were awarded in 16 sports, including one title in one invitational sport. A structured invitational sport program did not exist at the time. An agreement was reached with FINA in the lead-up to the games not to allow women's water polo athletes to march in the opening ceremony, to assuage the displeasure of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its being included in the program. Boxing was also to have been contested in these games and was featured on organizers' promotional materials. However, AIBA withdrew the sport from the program in the weeks before the opening of the games because of IOC disapproval.
as invitational sport
|Badminton||5||China, in its first summer multi-sport event since the 1936 Summer Olympics, competed in badminton only, winning 4 gold medals.|
|Baseball||1||venue: San Jose Municipal Stadium|
|Bodybuilding||6||Arnold Schwarzenegger, later governor of California, carried the flag of the International Federation of Bodybuilders in the opening ceremony.|
|Casting||11||venue: Oak Grove High School, San Jose|
|Finswimming||12||venue: Santa Clara Aquatic Center|
|Roller sports:||Inline skates were not used.|
|Artistic skating||4||venue: Cal Skate, Milpitas|
|Speed skating||6||venue: Great America Park, Santa Clara|
|Roller hockey||1||venue: Cal Skate, Milpitas|
|Softball||2||venue: Sunnyvale Sports Complex|
|Tug of war||2||venue: Buck Shaw Stadium|
|Water polo||1||women's teams|
|Water skiing||8||venue: Berkeley Aquatic Park, Berkeley|
The medal tally during the first World Games is as follows. United States was the over-all champion of this edition.
* The mixed badminton title was won by a pair of players from Sweden and Great Britain. Both nations are counted as having won a gold medal.
† Two bronze medals were awarded in each badminton, karate-kumite and taekwondo event. No bronze medals were awarded in 8 of the 9 powerlifting events and the women's synchronized trampoline event. No silver medal was awarded in one powerlifting event. In women's individual trampoline, Canada and USA tied for the silver medal.
- Sargis, Joe (August 3, 1981). "For the real sports fan, the name of the game is competition". United Press International. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
- Sargis, Joe (July 24, 1981). "With a simple ceremony, a touch of pageantry and...". United Press International. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
- "Santa Clara, USA 1981 Programme Sports". International World Games Association. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
- Berkow, Ira (July 28, 1981). "UNHERALDED SPORTS EXERT A PULL, TOO". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
- "Santa Clara, USA 1981 Calendar & Results". International World Games Association. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
- "Results of the World Games". International World Games Association. Retrieved 2015-10-25.