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The Military World Games: Peace Achieved Through Sports

Por Dialogo
marzo 11, 2011

I am retired military. I was involved in the Military World Games (as a referee in Paim), and I think they contribute a lot to exchanges and unity among the participating nations. I wish the Brazilian athletes involved lots of success. Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the matter. \ Nilson Fernandes de Mattos. Rio de Janeiro – Brazil. Hi, I am a lawyer with the Armed Forces of Panama and I was also a policeman. I want to know why there are no chess games in the military Olympics in Central America. I am a national chess professional and I have world ranking.
Sports, for the most part, have always been a uniting factor for peace.

During World War I, British and German soldiers gathered during the Christmas holidays and kicked a soccer ball around, exchanged gifts, and generally forgot about the war.

Recently in 2006, warring factions in the Ivory Coast called a temporary truce to a bloody four-year civil conflict when the national team qualified for their first ever World Cup.

Now as the Military World Games is scheduled to kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this July, there is indeed no better meaningful and beautiful message of peace than the one sent to the world by the representatives of more than one hundred Armed Forces coming together in the name of sport.

The Brussels-based CISM, which stands for Conseil International du Sport Militaire, or the International Military Sports Council, organizes the multi-sport event for military sportspeople every four years. These games are based on the CISM and Olympic spirit, without political, religious and racial consideration or discrimination.

The CISM was founded in 1948 in Nice, France, to develop military athleticism and contribute to world peace by cultivating military sports friendship among servicemen and servicewomen of member nations. Every year, the organization would hold 15-20 World Championships of various sports disciplines before adopting the current quadrennial model in 1995 in Rome to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II and of the ratification of the United Nations Organization Charter.

Among the 25 disciplines that athletes will compete in include combat sports such as taekwondo, judo, boxing, wrestling and fencing; team sports such as men’s and women’s football, volleyball, basketball and handball; individual sports such as track and field, cycling, modern pentathlon and equestrian events; in addition to military sports such as shooting and parachuting.

As of 2010, the CISM membership has increased to 133 nations. This year’s World Games is expected to be the largest military sports event ever held in Brazil, with approximately 4,900 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 25 disciplines.