Regional multi-sport competitions are multi-sport events is which athletes compete in a variety of different sports.
The first contemporary multi-sport event organized were the Olympic Games, sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee with a debut appearance in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Following some poorly organized celebrations in 1900 and 1904, the Olympic Games became extremely popular. The number of sports involved, originally merely a few, is still increasing.
With the commencement of the 20th century, another grand multi-sport competition, the Nordic Games, were held for the first time. This event was held in Scandinavia with such winter sports involved as speed skating and cross country skiing. The Nordic Games were held for the last time in 1926, and after this the Winter Sports Week in 1924 in Chamonix was acknowledged the first Winter Olympic Games.
In the 1920s, many kinds of other global and regional multi-sport competitions were set up. These were typically directed for a chosen group of athletes, sooner than everybody, that was - principally - the case with the Olympics. The Soviets organized the debut Spartakiade in 1920, the alternative of communists to the 'bourgeois' Olympics, and the University Olympia was organized in 1922 in Italy, the precursor of the University World Games, meant only for students. Regional multi-sport competitions were another kind of multi-sport events established, such as the Central American Games or the Far East Championships.
The largest regional multi-sport competitions in the world are still the Olympic Games, but a number of others also have importance. These are:
- Pan-American Games, first held in 1951, for all countries of the Americas;
- Commonwealth Games, first held in 1930. Intended for all countries from the Commonwealth of Nations;
- Asian Games, first held in 1951, intended for all Asian countries;
- All-Africa Games, first held in 1965, intended for all African countries;
- Southeast Asian Games, first held in 1959, for all countries in Southeast Asia;
- Goodwill Games, first held in 1986, organized as an alternative following the boycotted Olympic Games of 1980 and 1984;
- World University Games, first held in 1923, also known as Universiade;
- World Games, first held in 1981, involve numerous non-Olympic sports (still not all).
Therefore, the World Games is from time to time also informally called the Olympic Games for non-Olympic sports:
- Mediterranean Games, first held in 1951, for all countries which border the Mediterranean Sea;
- Pan Arab Games, first held in 1953, for Arabic countries;
- Francophone Games, first held in 1989, for French-speaking countries;
- World OutGames and Gay Games first held in 2006 and 1982 respectively, intended for the global gay community
Other global and regional multi-sport competitions are meant for disabled or handicapped athletes. The first such event was the Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games, held for the first time in 1948 in England. In 1960, the opening Paralympics Games were organized and associated with the Olympic Games.