The Mediterranean Games were first held in Alexandria, Egypt in 1951, after an idea launched by Muhammed Taber Pasha, chairman of the Egyptian Olympic Committee in 1948 and Vice President of the International Olympic Committee. They turned into the most important sports event of the Mediterranean region and they are celebrated every four years. Since 1991, they are held a year after the Olympic Games. There are 23 participating countries of the 3 continents of the Mediterranean basin.
The participating countries are: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, San Marino, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. The host cities have been: Alexandria 1951, Barcelona 1955, Beirut 1959, Naples 1963, Tunis 1967, Izmir 1971, Algiers 1975, Split 1979, Casablanca 1983, Latakia 1987, Athens 1991, Languedoc-Roussillon 1993, Bari 1997, Tunis 2001, and Almeria 2005. The next host city will be Pescara, Italy, in 2009.