Some 7000 participants from 100-plus countries descend on Rio de Janeiro in Jul 2011 for the CISM 5th Military World Games. The event represents another opportunity for Brazil to test its readiness for hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. The 2007 Pan-American Games was the first test, and the experience helped secure the military competition, billed the third most important sporting event after the World Cup and Olympics, for Brazil against Turkey's bid.
The 20-sport event for military sportspeople is built around the idea that sports can make a lasting contribution to world peace, and can help the rebuilding of societies in post-conflict situations. The organizer and founder of the games, the International Military Sports Council (CISM), was created in 1948 by Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Holland, and "was born within a spirit of pacifism and integration of the nations after the conflicts that swept Europe in the first half of the twentieth century." The first competition was held in Rome, in 1995, and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the end of the second World War and of the ratification of the United Nations charter. CISM says it has 130 member countries of all continents, and gathers more than 1 million athletes around the world. Initially, CISM organized its events as championships for individual sports. The events were reorganized into an in-one, Olympics-style competition in 1995, and are held every four years. India was the 2007 host.
Date written/update: 2011-07-16