The Problem With Medals at the World Games

Korfball anyone?

JUly 30, 2013— -- You've probably never heard of the World Games, unless you're really into fistball, tug of war, or ultra competitive salsa dancing.

This international competition gets little TV time, as it mostly includes unusual sports that don't make it to the Olympics. But the World Games are happening right now in the city of Cali, Colombia, and most of us would have not found out about it, were it not for a terrible blunder.

It turns out that the medals that are being handed out to the winning athletes in this competition were accidentally engraved to commemorate the "Word Games."

No one from the organizing committee seems to have noticed the typo until athletes began to complain.

The organizing committee has apologized to the competitors and promised to replace the faulty medals with newly minted ones that will actually say "World Games."

They will probably have to make lots of new medals because despite their lack of TV popularity, the World Games are quite large: Roughly 4,000 athletes from 120 countries compete in 38 sports.

"This involuntary mistake does not in any way diminish the value of the medal, nor the merit of the [athlete's] triumph. We are taking corrective measures," World Games Organizing Committee President Rodrigo Otoya said on Sunday, after the medals "scandal" broke out.

The Games take place every four years, and according to the competition's website, they're different from the Olympics in that organizers don't ask host cities to build new infrastructure "for the sake of the World Games alone."

Think of them, then, as a budget-friendly and weird version of the Olympics, where you can watch events like korfball, competitive salsa dancing, and now also softball -- which was removed from the Olympics in 2008.

The latest version of the World Games began July 25 and will end on August 4. Check out their site to see how your favorite canoe polo team is doing.