IWGA President José Perurena has spoken about the upcoming World Games in the city of Wroclaw and told that muaythai is the first sport to hold the qualifying event for the World Games 2017 in Poland.
Exactly two years to go until The World Games 2017 starts. How do you assess what has been achieved?
José Perurena: I can say we are on track. We have set the framework. Now it is up to the Wroclaw Organizers, the federations, and our Association to fill in the details. We want to demonstrate that our sports are on the same level as the Olympic sports. Seven of the eight sports shortlisted for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo belong to The World Games family. It is a matter of fact that The World Games are a stepping-stone to the Olympics. As in that event, we have to deliver the best environment for our sports to be presented at the highest level.
What are the main tasks now?
Last month we received information that Wroclaw is about to start construction work on two new swimming pools. The citizens of Wroclaw will benefit from the refurbishment of the existing outdoor swimming pool and the building of a brand-new indoor venue. This will be used for Finswimming, Canoe Polo and Life Saving. There are more activities planned that will help to boost the Host City’s sports infrastructure.
We are collecting information on qualifying events, and the names of athletes and teams that will take part in TWG2017. The qualification of the athletes will start this August, with the 2015 Royal World Cup in Muaythai, Bangkok (THA). The whole process will be completed in January 2017.
Will you celebrate the “two years to go” milestone?
The Organizers used the final of the Polish American Football Super Bowl on 11 July to promote TWG 2017. With great success, as our Vice President Max Bishop, who attended the event, reported. It was staged at the main Wroclaw stadium where we will celebrate our Opening Ceremony on 20 July 2017. In general, we observe increasing awareness of our event in Wroclaw. A recent poll confirmed this impression. The citizens are getting more and more interested in TWG. But we do not have a special event celebrating this milestone. It is just a date to recognize that we have two more years to pull everything together.
What do you expect from TWG 2017?
José Perurena: Rafal Dutkiewicz, the Mayor of Wrocław, promised to deliver the best games ever. This is something that we expect as well. It is important to meet these expectations in order for The World Games to reach the next level. We are on our way to establishing a rewarding cooperation with the IOC. Our plan is to work together, and to integrate The World Games into the Olympic Movement in order to benefit our athletes and our IFs. In Wroclaw 2017, the IOC will have a strong presence on the ground to monitor our sports. We are very clear that The World Games in 2017 mark a very important milestone for the IWGA and The World Games. IOC President Thomas Bach agreed to this when he met a Polish delegation in Lausanne this June.