After four months in office, José Perurena-Lopez describes his experiences as the President of the International World Games Association. Summarizing what will be crucial in taking The World Games on to the next level, he stresses: “Working in cooperation with the IOC is not only desirable, it is essential.“
You’ve been four months in office,
how would you describe your first experiences as President of the IWGA?
My first impressions have been very positive. We are working towards the World Games that are attuned to the Olympic Games and will be able to show that the World Games have disciplines that have the same quality and interest as the Olympic disciplines. Furthermore, the cooperation between the Headquarters and the Executive Committee has been very positive since my first day. It is easy to work when everybody is engaged and committed to the project.
How did the world of sports react to your election in Belek in April?
I think they reacted very well. I received a lot of support from all the member federations of the IWGA and other associations like the IOC, SportAccord, ARISF and ASOIF. I also received support from many IOC members and the media. This support makes me feel even more involved in the development of our multi-sport event. And as I said before, I have an Executive Committee with great working capacity and involvement in the project.
Could you please highlight your first steps during these first months?
IOC President Thomas Bach created 14 working groups, which have distributed all the initiatives and interests of the Olympic Movement that affect the future of the Games. All of these groups are integrated into the Agenda 2020 that will be presented during the next extraordinary assembly of the IOC in Monaco in December. I am part of two working groups that are indirectly related to The World Games. My tasks will be to explain who we are, what we do. The World Games have a window of opportunity to showcase non-Olympic sports. The World Games have to show the capacity and quality of the disciplines participating in the programme. I aim to achieve more integration and co-operation with the IOC.
What will be your next goals in terms of taking The World Games to the next level?
This is a task that cannot be done by the President alone. To be able to take The World Games to the next level and to show that we have sports that are Olympic level it is important to include all the international member federations and to have the Executive Committee engaged in the project. Next November during the meeting of the Executive Committee we will make a master plan, which will be presented at the next AGM in 2015.
You announced that you are intending to work on closer cooperation with the IOC. Is there an existing road map in terms of this goal?
Working in cooperation with the IOC is not only desirable, it is essential. To raise the level of competition and organization of our Games we have to work closely together with the IOC. It is important to remember that seven federations that applied to be included in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 are an important part of our association. IWGA is looking for common ground with the IOC. I see the World Games as complementary to the Olympic Movement.
How would you describe your expectations for the TWG 2017 in Wroclaw which will be your first World Games as President?
We are working together with the Organizing Committee to make them the best Word Games in IWGA’s history. We have the obligation to create the best Games to show SportAccord and the IOC the potential and the future of The World Games.
What do you expect from the bidding for the 11th edition of The World Games?
Actually we have three candidate cities that have sufficient resources and capacity to organize The World Games in 2021. These three, Birmingham (USA), Lima (Peru) and Ufa (Russia) all have their own characteristics that make them suitable for our Games. The decision will be very difficult, but I am sure that the Executive Committee will choose the city that represents the values and ideals of The World Games the best. The interest of bidding cities shows that the World Games is thriving and I intend to keep it that way.