World Gymnaestrada kicks off in Lausanne, Switzerland
posted on 07/11/2011

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., July 11, 2011— More than 300 individuals are representing the USA at the 2011 World Gymnaestrada, July 10-16, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

An estimated 20,000 participants, of all ages,from around the world and representing 55 national federations, are performing as part of the World Gymnaestrada, which is held every four years. This will be the third time that Switzerland will be hosting this world-scale sporting event, (Basel, 1969; Zurich, 1982).

Nine gymnastics clubs from across the United States will participate in this year’s event including Biron Gymnastics from Houston, Texas, Carolina Gymnastics Academy from Wilmington, N.C., Chattooga Gymnastics and Dance in Marietta, Ga., Columbia Gymnastics in Columbia, Md., DeVeau’s School of Gymnastics in Fishers, Ind., La Jolla Y in La Jolla, Calif., Skyview Gymnastics in Mt. Airy, Md., West Bend Gymnastics in West Bend, Wis., and Westport-Weston Family Y in Westport, Conn. USA Gymnastics is honored to have the Biron Gymnastics Show Team represented at the FIG Gala.

The performances range from small to large, with some groups having as many as 1,100 members. The Opening Ceremony on July 10 had approximately 1,900 participating gymnasts, while 16 groups will perform over a four-night period, leading up to the closing ceremony on July 16. The Pan American Gymnastics Union is participating in the Closing Ceremony, with the USA contributing approximately 120 performers.

Participating countries include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Great Britain, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United States.

Five U.S. clubs will participate in three evening performances during the World Gymnaestrada this year: Chattooga Gymnastics; La Jolla YMCA; Skyview GymDancers; Westbend Dance and Tumbling; and Westport-Westin YMCA.

The World Gymnaestrada, the official world event of the FIG for “Gymnastics for All” (group gymnastics), is a gymnastics festival where everyone actively participates. The Gymnaestrada traces its history back to the World Gymnastics Festival, which was an outgrowth of national gymnastics festivals that date back to the second half of the 19th century in Sweden, Norway, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In 1950, the FIG General Assembly decided to integrate an International Gymnastics Festival into their official event program called "Gymnaestrada." The first Gymnaestrada took place in 1953 in Rotterdam. Other cities that have hosted the event include Zagreb, Stuttgart, Vienna, Basel, Berlin, Zurich, Herning, Amsterdam, Berlin, Göteborg and Lisbon.

For more information on the World Gymnaestrada, visit www.wg-2011.com.