In addition to the Olympic Games, numerous international sporting events are held throughout the world each year. Many of these are simply international championships in the various sports, such as the World Gymnastics Championships, or the World Athletics Championships. But in addition, since the 1910s, the nations of the world have gathered together to compete in regional international multi-sport competitions. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has encouraged this because it follows some of the principles of Olympism and the Olympic Movement – bringing together the various peoples of the world in peaceful sporting competition. In addition, as the Olympic Games grow and grow, the Regional International Games often now serve as qualifying events for the Olympic Games. Thus they have become even more important. In addition, two of the Regional Games have had definite importance to the various political battles afflicting the Olympic Movement. These are the Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO) and the Goodwill Games. Also of note are the World Games, which function as the “Olympic Games for non-Olympic sports”.
The various Regional Games number probably over 100, but the most important of them may be listed as follows: All-Africa Games, Arab Games, Arctic Winter Games, Asian Games, Asian Winter Games, Baltic Sea Games, Black Sea Games, Bolivarian Games, Central American and Caribbean Games, Central American Games, Central Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, East Asian Games, European Championships, European Games, Far East Championships, Games of the Small Countries of Europe, Games of the New Emerging Forces, Goodwill Games, Goodwill Winter Games, Indian Ocean Islands Games, Inter-Allied Games, Island Games, Jeux de la Francophonie, Mediterranean Games, Micronesian Games, Nordic Games, Pacific Games, Pan American Games, South American Games, South Asian Federation Games, South East Asian Games, South Pacific Games, South Pacific Mini Games, and the West Asian Games.