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No chance for world titles in Team Gymnastics

2013-07-02 12:06:00 AIPS

Photo by Yurij Mikhalevich

LAUSANNE, July 1, 2013 - We have seen several national teams win both the European tournaments and then later the World championship. For instance there is the Spanish football that won the Euro 2008 and then World Cup two years later and the French handball that lifted the Euro cup and followed it up with the World championships title a year later.

In October 2012 our local Icelandic girls clinched the European Championships in Team Gymnastics in Aarhus, Denmark. But sadly that’s the furthest they can go as the World cup is far beyond their reach.

Team Gymnastics is a growing sport in Europe and in October 2014 Reykjavik, Iceland will host the 10th European TeamGym Championships. But The International Gymnastics Federation,FIG governs seven disciplines, excluding TeamGym. These are Gymnastics for All, Men’s Artistic, Women´s Artistic, Rythmic, Trampoline, Aerobic and Acrobatic Gymnastics. In Europe TeamGym is part of the eight sport categories of European Union of Gymnastics (UEG).

FIG has no plans to recognize TeamGym in the foreseeable future.

“Team Gymnastics is very popular in the Nordic countries in Europe, but few people beyond that like in in Asia, Africa, South America and so on practice TeamGym,” Philippe Silacci, FIG media operation officer explained to the AIPS Young reporters during a visit to their headquarters in Lausanne.

“TeamGym and Golden age gym festival is part of the UEG, and they have got our support, but FIG will not do anything about these categories in the next years,” Silacci added.

But is it possible that TeamGym will never be recognized by FIG and we may never get to watch a World championship in TeamGym?

“That is possible. But we should never say never!” Philippe Silacci said.

FIG is the oldest established international sports federation, established in 1881. It has participated in the Olympic games since their revival in 1896 in Athens. Because of their tradition it would be very difficult for TeamGym to get recognized by FIG if the sport does not spread in other continents.

“Our sport is not easy. If it was easy, it would be called football,” Olivier Strebel, FIG TV Rights & Sales Manager said.

Neither is TeamGym. Nobody doubts this. But for the moment Team Gymnastics will remain a European sport and that is probably the reason the European champions in TeamGym will never be the World champions for now. (By Thorkell Gunnar Sigurbjornsson, AIPS Young Reporter - Iceland)

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