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Alternative Olympic Games

In response to boycotts or sanctions by the International Olympic Committee, there have been several sporting events organized as an alternative to the Olympic Games by those who could not attend.

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"Deutsche Kampfspiele" (German Sports Contests), 1922

Following the first world war, Germany and its allies were not invited to the 1920 Olympic Games. As an alternative, Germany organized a German Sports Contest "Deutsche Kampfspiele". The event was held in June 1922 in Berlin, the city having been prepared for the 1916 Olympics which were eventually canceled due to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. There was also a winter sports event that year, coming two years before the first Olympic Winter Games. Subsequent events were held in Köln 1926, Breslau 1930 and in Nuremberg 1934.

The People's Olympiad, 1936 (cancelled)

Spain decided to boycott the Berlin Games, and with labour and socialist groups around the world, organized an alternative event, the People's Olympiad. However, the event was canceled as the Spanish Civil War broke out.

Liberty Bell Classic, 1980

The Liberty Bell Classic (often referred to as Olympic Boycott Games) was held at the University of Pennsylvania by 29 of the countries that boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games. The event started on July 16, shortly before the 1980 Olympics opened on July 19.

Friendship Games, 1984

The Friendship Games were organized by Eastern Bloc countries in response to their boycott of the 1984 Olympic Games. The Friendship Games was held between 2 July and 16 September 1984 in the Soviet Union, with eight other socialist states which had boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Comparisons of the results of the Friendship Games with the Olympic Games showed athletes from the eastern bloc surpassed the Olympic winners in 20 of the 41 athletics events.

Games of the New Emerging Forces

The Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO) were set up by Indonesia in 1962 as a counter to the Olympic Games. These Games were established for the athletes of the so-called "emerging nations" (mainly newly independent socialist states). The first edition of GANEFO was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 10–22, 1963. The second GANEFO was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 25-December 6, 1966.

Women's Olympics / World Games

The Women's World Games was established to address the lack of women's athletic competitions in the during the early Olympic years. The event consisted of several competitions, similar to the Olympics, conducted only for women participants between 1922 and 1934. See more.

Putin's Olympics (2016)

There was an alternative event held for the banned Russian track and field athletes from the 2016 Rio Games. The Stars 2016 event was held before the Rio Games were scheduled, on July 28 at the Znamensky Brothers Stadium in Moscow, and included 67 Russian athletes that were banned from competing at the Rio Games.

Russian president Vladimir Putin suggested an alternative Olympics in Sochi for the Russian athletes banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. This alternative event was planned to be hosted at the same Sochi site that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, and winners were expected to receive the same monetary compensation that Russia usually gives to its Olympic medalists. It is not clear if such a competition was held, particularly as many Russian athletes were allowed to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics, albeit under a neutral Olympic flag.

Again, in response to Russian athletes being banned from the 2024 Paris Olympics, an alternative event, the World Friendship Games, are scheduled to take place in Moscow and Yekaterinburg from September 15 to September 29, 2024, featuring competitions in 27 sports, including basketball, boxing, athletics, swimming, gymnastics, beach soccer, sports programming, and even acrobatic rock and roll.

World Friendship Games (2024)

The World Friendship Games is an international multi-sport event to be held in 2024 as an alternative to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The event has been organized in response to the exclusion of many Russian teams and events from elite international sport in 2023 and 2024 following the country's invasion of Ukraine. The event is planned be held in Russia from 15 to 29 September, 2024, shortly after the Summer Olympics in Paris.

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