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Celebrating 30 Years: the birth of the World Military Summer Games in Rome


2Symposium participants in visit to the “Stadio Olimpico” in Rome.

BRUSSELS (BEL) - On September 29, 1993, in the eternal city of Rome, a momentous decision was made that would shape the future of military sports. It marked the genesis of the Military World Summer Games, a global sporting event that would bring together military athletes from across the world.


Today, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of that historic decision.

The idea of this event was conceived in an historic moment marked by extraordinary changes in the world, in one year, 1993, considered as one of the most revolutionary in modern history.

In Rome, in '93, CISM was planned to complete the cycle of seminars dedicated to commendable foresight of better defining its strategy for the future and explore the meaning of "military" sport in the vast world of the international and national sport spheres.


4CISM Secretary General, Lt.Col. François Pilot (LUX)

Thus, at the end of September, the Olympic Training Centre of the Italian Judo, Wrestling, Karate and Martial Arts Federation (FILJKAM), located on the seafront of Ostia (Rome), welcomed about fifty military representatives from many member countries who, together with the CISM governance, brought to life a Symposium with the challenging theme: "Military sports activity in the world of sport".

The most disruptive element that arose from those days of work was undoubtedly the decision to organize in Rome, in 1995, the first military world games, the realization of which would have constituted for the CISM the sounding board necessary to attract the attention of the mass media and public opinion and establish itself as an international sports body of the highest order.

As often happens, the reason for the success of this memorable initiative was also possible thanks to the precious contribution and convinced support of stakeholders and prestigious partners such as the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and the FILJKAM, to the availability of their managers, secretaries and collaborators, often pressed by the tight deadlines, but no less open to an important and effective collaboration with the military sport movement.


1Symposium participants to one of the working sessions

With the aim of fostering camaraderie, promoting physical fitness, and showcasing the remarkable talents of military personnel beyond their traditional roles, Italy and his capital city steeped in history and culture, became the initiator and the backdrop for this grand endeavor.

The first edition of the Military World Summer Games held in Rome in 1995 was a resounding success. It transcended borders, languages, and political differences, uniting nations through the universal language of sports. Athletes from diverse backgrounds competed in a spirit of friendship and fair play, epitomizing the values of the armed forces worldwide.

Over the past three decades, the MWSG has continued to thrive and evolve. It has grown in scale and significance, becoming a showcase for excellence in sportsmanship, discipline, and athleticism among military personnel. The games have served as a platform for military athletes to display their skills and determination while forging lasting bonds with their counterparts from across the globe.


5CISM President, Maj. Gen. Jean Duguet (on the left) and CISM Vice President Col. Arthur Zechner (AUT)

The legacy of the Games extends far beyond the sporting arena. It stands as a testament to the power of sports in promoting peace, understanding, and cooperation among nations. The games have consistently exemplified the belief that soldiers from different countries can compete with honor on the field, fostering mutual respect and goodwill.

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the decision that set this remarkable journey in motion, we honor the visionaries who believed in the power of sports to bring nations together. We salute the countless athletes, organizers, and volunteers who have made these games a resounding success year after year.


6The highest CISM authorities together with the President of the LOC, Lt.Col. Gianni GOLA, (first on the right) guests of a sport program on the national TV channel

The Military World Summer Games continues to inspire, uniting the world's military communities in the spirit of friendship, competition, and solidarity. As we look ahead, let us remember the indelible mark this event has left on the world stage and anticipate the bright future it promises for generations of military athletes to come.

Happy 30th anniversary to the idea of the Military World Summer Games—a beacon of unity, sportsmanship, and international camaraderie!


(Source: CISM Media & Communication Department)