Artistic Gymnastics World Championships: a superlative sporting event
13.10.2019 17:56 Uhr
The Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Stuttgart 2019 was a superlative sporting event, according to the unanimous tenor of the final press conference of the World Championships shortly before the end of the competitions. Excellently organised, with innovative concepts for sustainability and an incomparable atmosphere, the Worlds set new standards. The enthusiasm and positive mood of the Stuttgart audience inspired the 540 gymnasts from 92 countries to top performances and brought the thrill of gymnastics to the public.
FIG President Morinari Watanabe praised the event’s organisation, the athletes’ performance and the support of the capacity crowds at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Hall. “We have never seen such a great cheer. We have never met such kind and hard-working volunteers.” Watanabe said the quality of the Gymnastics on show had been exceptional, adding: “New stars from new countries were born.” He pointed to the gold medals for Turkey and the Philippines as examples of how the sport was opening new horizons, but also praised the achievements of established stars like All-around champions Simone Biles (USA) and Nikita Nagornyy (RUS). Watanabe said the championships had been characterised by the competing nations supporting each other and said mutual support was important for the sport. “Friendships raise the level of Gymnastics,” said Watanabe. “This is fantastic for us, we’re a Gymnastics family.”
Dr. Alfons Hölzl, President of the German Gymnastics Federation, was extremely satisfied. “We wanted to ignite a gymnastics fire – we managed that. Anyone who has seen a total of over 100,000 spectators every day in the competition arena knows what I’m talking about. The audience was electrified. And that makes me particularly proud, not only at the appearances of the German athletes, but also at the international competitors.
We wanted to prove ourselves as good hosts, I think we succeeded. I was also very pleased to see how much the spark from the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Hall jumped over to the Schlossplatz or the other venues.
In addition, we wanted to set new standards for our sport and open up gymnastics with its forms of movement to more people. With the many offers around the World Championships and the projects that have a lasting effect on the association, we have made a lot of progress in this process”.
The President expressly thanked the state capital Stuttgart, the state of Baden-Württemberg and the federal government, the International Gymnastics Federation FIG, the sponsors and media partners – especially SWR – as well as the hundreds of volunteers, employees, partners and service providers for their great support and extraordinary commitment.
“Of course, I was also very enthusiastic about the positive and successful sporting performances of the Gymnastics Team Germany. To see our gymnasts go to work with a lot of passion and ambition in combination with sporting fair play was simply great. Congratulations on the men’s and women’s Olympic qualification and on the great individual results,” said Hölzl.
“As a representative of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, I am particularly happy about the Gymnastics World Championships, which have never been hosted as often as here in Stuttgart – one can say that Stuttgart is the Gymnastics World Champion as host,” said Minister of State Theresa Schopper in the concluding press conference. “The fact that the competition is now taking place here for the third time shows that this is the case: Baden-Württemberg is a sports state – and a state of gymnasts, because more than one in ten is a member of a gymnastics club. At the end of this great competition I would like to thank all athletes, the public, the organisers with their 600 volunteers, who have made sure that the last days, weeks and months went smoothly. We are also glad to have had Swabian engineering skills for the World Cup medals and to be able to experience the joy of the athletes from many countries at these extraordinary medals,” said the Minister of State.
Dr. Martin Schairer, Deputy Mayor for Security, Order and Sport, said “The 2019 Gymnastics World Championships were a flagship event for the sports city of Stuttgart in all areas. My heartfelt thanks go to the athletes, to the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique, to the German and Swabian Gymnastics Associations, to the spectators, to the many volunteers and above all to the enthusiasts who made this World Cup a unique experience for everyone”.
Mayor Schairer also referred to the sustainability aspect of the event: “We also wanted to make the Gymnastics World Championships present in the middle of the city and set impulses for the promotion of physical activity. This was achieved with the City Event on Schlossplatz and other activities. In this way, the Worlds is sustainably doing justice to its goal of setting new standards that can also be felt far beyond the event in the city”.
Wolfgang Drexler, President of the Swabian Gymnastics Federation, once again spoke about the atmosphere and the fair audience in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Hall. “This Artistic Gymnastics World Championships with its sensational atmosphere was a great event and once again proved that Stuttgart is a very special location in the world of gymnastics and is appreciated by both the public and the athletes. Major sporting events are important for Stuttgart, especially in gymnastics. We would like to apply for the next Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in ten years’ time, and hope that we will then be able to present equally good standards. It is also a matter close to my heart as president of the STB that we share the emotionality of gymnastics, these positive experiences of movement with all people. In the last few days we have counted 6,725 somersaults in our actions in the city. A representative study shows that 40 percent of the population would like to be able to do a somersault. It is the task of gymnastics, i.e. our task to close the existing gap… We will continue and set new standards!”