Malta To Host The 2023 GSSE After 20 Years

In honour of Malta hosting the upcoming 2023 GSSE, we take a look back at the history of the games and Malta’s contribution over the decades.

Malta last hosted the games 20 years ago back in 2003 and a lot has changed since then apart from one thing – Malta’s determination, focus, commitment and hard work to deliver strong performances and an overall highly memorable experience for everyone involved. Malta performed exceptionally well in 2003 when they hosted the games. They took home 11 gold medals, 15 silver medals and 15 bronze medals – totalling up to 41 medals, which is an outstanding result.

Preparations for the games began way back in 2017, so you can imagine the level of quality and focus that went into the games, years before they even took place.

The Malta Olympic Committee was recognised by the International Olympic Committee in 1936, eight years after it was founded. Malta holds a long history in sports and it spans back over a century. Over that time, Malta has competed in multiple sporting events such as the Mediterranean Games, European Games, Commonwealth Games and the European Youth Olympic Festival.


The Malta Olympic Committee In Rome, 1960

Photo credit: Charles Camenzuli

In 1960, Malta competed in the Rome Olympic Games and competed in sailing, shooting, cycling and swimming. After this experience, during the 1960s and 1970s, the Malta Olympic Committee was heavily focused on wanting to expand the number of sports that were competed in by Malta.

If it hadn’t been for Malta, the Games of the Small States of Europe would perhaps never have existed, as back in 1985, Malta came forward with a proposal for the Games as it had been in discussion for quite some time. The GSSEs now take place in nine European countries that are home to less than 1 million inhabitants.

Present Day

Top Left: Gabriel Grixti / Bottom Left: Claire Azzopardi / Right: Tony Bezzina Stadium

The 2023 GSSE will see Malta have 20 athletes competing in 10 sports with those being; athletics, sailing, judo, table tennis, swimming, tennis, shooting, basketball, squash and rugby 7’s.

Malta will be showing off all that the island has to offer during the Games as the island is making sure to utilise an abundance of facilities and venues. Some of the venues include the Basketball Pavilion in Ta‘ Qali (Basketball), the Gillieru Hotel in St. Pauls Bay (Sailing) and the Tony Bezzina Stadium in Paola (Rugby 7s). The Maltese team looks very promising and regardless of the results, Malta is already so proud of the hard work and determination that the athletes have shown. Some of the athletes that make up the Maltese team and will be competing in the GSSE are;

  • Claire Azzopardi (athletics)
  • Elaine Genovese (tennis)
  • Gabriel Grixti (table tennis)
  • Matthew Flores (sailing)
  • Sasha Gatt (swimming)

The Ceremony

The Floriana Granaries

Photo Credit: Floriana Local Council

The opening ceremony will take place at the Floriana Granaries on 29 May at 20:00h and is sure to have a phenomenal turnout.

The Games will run from 29 May until 3 June and are expected to be a truly memorable and unforgettable experience for both the athletes and spectators.

If you are interested in securing a spot in the audience for the ceremony, visit here for tickets are extremely limited. 

We look forward to the 2023 GSSE and wish all the athletes competing luck (especially the Maltese team).