José Perurena has claimed the IWGA has shown itself to be "crisis-proof" in 2020 ©IWGA

International World Games Association (IWGA) President José Perurena has claimed the organisation has shown itself to be "crisis-proof" in 2020 and described this year as the most challenging in the body's history.

Perurena, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March, said the IWGA had been able to continue its work despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis posed significant obstacles for sport and forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The IWGA moved its 2021 World Games in Birmingham in the United States back by a year to avoid a clash with Tokyo 2020.

"It was by far the most challenging year in the forty-year history of the IWGA," Perurena, also President of the International Canoe Federation, said. 

"On May 21, we wanted to celebrate our anniversary, but it turned out we did not have much time to look back - we had the current demands of the COVID-19 pandemic to deal with. 

"And yes, it was also a year for me personally that will be remembered forever."

Perurena added: "The stay in hospital during my COVID-19 illness was, to put it mildly, unsettling. 

"I am all the more grateful to have beaten the virus and to have been able to do my work for the IWGA again in the months since then."

The Spaniard said he was hopeful the fight against the virus "will allow for more normality next year".

"Nevertheless, it is important to be prepared for all eventualities," Perurena added.

"What we can probably already say with certainty is that the coming year will also present us with challenges. 

"But what we also know is that we have shaped our structures and working methods accordingly. 

"What I have taken away from 2020 is - no matter how difficult it gets, we will find smart solutions."