France to host 2023 Virtus Global Games

The Virtus governing board has announced overnight that the 2023 Virtus Global Games has been awarded to France.

The team at Fédération Française du Sport Adapté (FFSA) are highly experienced in delivering high quality international sporting events and have the support of government and sporting organisations to make the Virtus Global Games 2023 a truly remarkable event.” Said Barry Holman Chair of the Virtus Global Games Committee.

Archie Graham and Jade Lucy lead Australia team during the Opening Ceremony at the 2019 Virtus Global Games in Brisbane.

The Virtus Global Games is the pinnacle sporting event for athletes with an intellectual impairment.  It is conducted every four years in the year preceeding the Paralympics, which in 2024, is in Paris, France.

The Virtus 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.  Held every 4 years in the year preceeding the Paralympics the Global Games has grown to include a core 9 sports and demonstration sports.

Following the first Virtus Global Games in Sweden the Games have been held in Liberec – Czech Republic (2009),  Loano – Italy (2011), Guayaquil – Ecuador (2015) and Brisbane – Australia (2019).   The Brisbane Games achieved what Sydney achieved in 2000, raising the bar in terms of performance, profile, and recognition of the ability of athletes.  The Brisbane Games organising committee set ambitious goals to celebrate inclusive sporting excellence, by changing attitudes, challenging perceptions and strengthening communities locally and globally.   The success of the Games has provided Virtus with a platform to build in all facets of its mission – driving the development of elite sport worldwide for athletes with an intellectual impairment.

The Global Games logo designed in Australia has been adopted by Virtus and has become the Games logo and will be an ongoing legacy of the Brisbane Global Games.

Australia fielded its largest team of athletes across all sports in Brisbane and finished on top of the medal tally for the 4thconsecutive Games.

“We had our largest team of 164 athletes compete in Brisbane and we look forward to working with the National Sporting Organisations and the athletes to build another large Australia team to defend our Number one country status at the 6th Virtus Global Games in Vichy  France in 2023” said Helen Croxford, President of Sport Inclusion Australia.

Australian team Captains Archie Graham (Tennis) and Jade Lucy (Swimming) are two athletes who will be counting down the 1000 days as they prepare for the Virtus Global Games in Vichy.

The Brisbane Games was an incredible experience for me as Australian co-captain, I hope to be part of the Australian team again in France in 2023” said Jade Lucy.  This will be Lucy’s 3rd Virtus Global Games

It was an honour to welcome the World’s best athletes to Brisbane in 2019, I will be working hard to make the Australian team for the 2023 Virtus Global Games in Vichy” said Archie Graham.  France holds good memories for Graham having won the Virtus Tennis World Championships in Paris in 2018.

Sports to be included in the 6th Virtus Global Games France are:  Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Futsal, Rowing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Tennis.

The announcement by Virtus has come at a great time for all athletes around the world impacted by COVID-19 who have seen all of their events cancelled or postponed in 2020.  “This announcement provides the athletes with some certainty and a goal to work towards after the disappointment of 2020 ” Said Robyn Smith  CEO Sport Inclusion Australia

The Virtus announcement coincided with the milestone of 1000 days to go.  While we can look forward to the Games with some certainty athletes will have have numerous events leading up to the Games once competition resumes starting with State and National Championships, Tokyo Paralympics, inaugural Regional Asia/Oceania Games in 2022 and various other World Championships.

The 6th Virtus Global Games will be held in the town of Vichy from 4 to 10 June  2023.

As one coach so eloquently put it – “We now have a Goal”.





Year Host City Position Gold Silver Bronze Total
2004 Bollnas, Sweden 2nd 11 16 17 44
2009 Liberec, Czech Republic 1st 20 15 13 48
2011 Loano, Italy 1st 30 14 11 55
2015 Guayaquil, Ecuador 1st 20 10 7 37
2019 Brisbane, Australia 1st 48 53 54 155
2023 Vichy, France ? ? ? ? ?