The first GSSE took place in San Marino 1985, with 304 athletes competing in seven sports; Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Weightlifting, Judo, Swimming and Shooting.

Iceland dominated the swimming and judo competition and came away with first place in the medals table with 21 gold. 

Cyprus, which won 14 of its 15 gold medals in athletics, tied with Iceland in the total of medals won, but finished second with fewer gold.