The Anti-Pope Games – Avignon, France – 1

Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.


The Western Schism in the Roman Catholic Church began in 1378, when the French cardinals believed the election of Pope Urban VI was invalid. They elected Clement VII as an anti-pope and he took up residence in Avignon in France. The Protestant reformer Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X on 3 January 1521, in the bull  Decet Romanum Pontificem. In Avignon with its proud history of housing people who were opposed to the Papacy Martin Luther was viewed as a hero and in his honour the Anti-Pope Games were founded with the first events taking place on January 3rd, 1523.

The Games have taken place in most years when warfare has permitted. The events have changed somewhat over the years and now comprise the following sports.

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