The world's most popular international multi-sport games event is the Olympic Games, inspired by the ancient Greek Olympics. But there have been many other similar large-scale sporting games that were held prior to the first modern Olympics in 1896 that are no longer held. For more recent games that are no longer held, see our list of discontinued games.
List of Ancient Multi-Sport Games
- Panhellenic Games — 4 separate sports festivals held in ancient Greece.
- Ancient Olympics — the inspiration for the modern Olympic Games were held from 776 BC till 394 AD.
- Pythian Games — an ancient Greek Games comprising various athletic and musical competitions held in honour of Apollo every four years. The athletic events included running and chariot races. They continued to be held until the 4th century AD.
- Isthmian Games — named after the Isthmus of Corinth, where they were held, the year before and the year after the Olympic Games.
- Nemean Games — another of the Panhellenic Games held the year before and the year after the Olympic Games as per the Isthmian Games. Held in Nemea in honor of Zeus (as was the Olympic Games)
- Zappeion Olympics — a revival of the tradition of the Olympic Games by Evangelis Zappas. The event for Greek only athletes was held in Athens in 1870 and 1875.
- Alternative Olympic Games — In response to boycotts or sanctions by the International Olympic Committee, there have been several alternative sporting events organized. Such events included The People's Olympiad, The Friendship Games and the Women's Olympics.
- Scottish Highland Games — a traditional Scottish sporting event which predates any recorded history.
- Tailteann Games — an ancient Irish funerary games to honour the dead. This sporting event was held from 632 B.C. until the Norman invasion in 1169. The event included competitions in the long jump, high jump, hurling, Gaelic football, spear throwing, boxing, sword fighting, archery, wrestling, chariot and horse racing, swimming and rowing. The Games were revived from 1924 to 1932.
- Wenlock Games — dating from 1850, a forerunner of the modern Olympic Games which did not start until almost 50 years later. The Wenlock Games are still held annually in the Shropshire village of Much Wenlock, England.
- Cotswold Olimpicks — a long-running ancient games event started in 1612 and is still running today. The major drawcard is the shin-kicking contests, however many other mainstream sports events are held.
- About International Multi-Sport Events
- See the complete alphabetcial list of International Games
- Discontinued multi-sport events
- Olympic Games
- Extinct Sports — ancient and discontinued sports
- Calendar of Sporting Events