History of the Virtus Global Games

Since our startup in 2009, Athletes Without Limits has organized US National Teams traveling to and competing at the Virtus Global Games including past trips to the Czech Republic’09, Italy’11, Ecuador’16, Australia’19 and France ’23.
We look forward to the next Games in Egypt in 2027!

Visit our Event Calendar for US Team information for the next Global Games.

The Virtus Global Games (formerly called Inas Global Games) features 1000+ of the world’s top athletes with intellectual impairment competing in basketball, equestrian, futsal, judo/karate/taekwondo, rowing, swimming, table tennis, tennis and track and field. Organisers also sometimes include demonstration sports.

The Global Games originated in Bollnas Sweden in 2004 following the expulsion of athletes with an intellectual impairment from the Paralympics. The first Games featured six sports and was held at the same time as the 2004 Paralympics and has since grown to become the premier event for elite athletes with an intellectual impairment.

The event now takes place in the year ahead of the Paralympic Games. Since our startup in 2009, Athletes Without Limits has organized US National Teams traveling to and competing at every succeeding Virtus Global Games including 2009 Czech Republic, 2011 Italy, 2015 Ecuador and 2019 Australia.

While the Games feature 10+ sports, athletes competing in swimming, track & field, and table tennis — the three Paralympic sports that include athletes with intellectual impairment (II1) — have used the Global Games as a springboard toward also qualifying for their country’s Paralympic Team.

Other Virtus competition groups include Virtus II2- a separate group for athletes with intellectual impairment who have additional impairments including Trisomy/Translocation Down Syndrome, and Virtus II3 – a separate competition group for athletes with Autism who don’t also have Intellectual Disability.

As the World Championships for athletes with intellectual impairment the Virtus Global Games marks the highest level of achievement for high-performance athletes from around the World. Check out highlights from the 2019 event in the video below.

2027 Global Games head to Cairo EgyptVirtus Global Games Egypt Images

2023 Global Games France

Vichy, France

Virtus has announced that the sixth edition of the Global Games will be held in Vichy, France from June 4-10, 2023. The Global Games is world’s largest elite sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment. Athletes from Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania will perform across ten main sports.

Hosting this event, is the Virtus Member Organisation for France FFSA. The team at FFSA are highly experienced in delivering high quality international sporting events and have the support of government and sporting organisations to make the 2023 Virtus Global Games a remarkable event.

Vichy, a city of sports, have massively invested in renovating excellent facilities where all sports disciplines have their place. Labeled Terre de jeux 2024™ (Land of the Games 2024), our city is currently preparing to host Olympic and Paralympic delegations involved in Paris [2024] Olympic Games.”- Mayor of Vichy

The official worldwide games site is: www.gg2023.org

2019 Global Games Australia

Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport (formerly called Inas) has selected Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to host the 5th Global Games in 2019. As a Celebration of Excellence the Games will harness the power of inclusive sport to change attitudes, challenge perceptions and strengthen communities locally and globally. The Games showcases athletes across the sports of Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Futsal, Rowing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Tennis with Demonstration Cricket and Hockey and is the world’s biggest elite sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments.

Inas Global Games Brisbane 2019Follow the Games on Social Media

Watch videos and follow the planning on the official event website at www.inasglobalgames.org Follow the official 2019 Global Games Facebook site.