INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., July 6, 2007—A delegation of nearly 400 U.S. gymnasts will participate in the World Gymnaestrada, July 8-14, in Dornbirn, Austria. More than 21,000 gymnasts from 57 countries will perform at the World Gymnaestrada, which is a celebration of the sport of gymnastics through group gymnastics presentations.
“The World Gymnaestrada brings together people from all over the world to celebrate the sport of gymnastics,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “We are happy to send a U.S. delegation to participate in this extraordinary event.”
The performances range from small to large, with some groups having as many as 1,100 members. Approximately 1,900 gymnasts will participate in the opening ceremony on July 8, while 15 groups from five continents will take part in the closing ceremony on July 14.
The U.S. delegation, which represents 10 clubs throughout the United States, will participate in a cooperative project with the Pan American Gymnastics Union (PAGU) when more than 800 participants will join together for a special closing ceremony presentation. The members of the U.S. contingent are from the following clubs: Biron’s Gymnastics (Texas); Carolina Rhythmic Waves (N.C.); Chattooga (Ga.); Columbia Gymnastics (Md.); Fallbrook Gymnastics (Calif.); Go For It USA (Nev.); Little Gym of Anchorage (Alaska); Skyview GymDancers (Md.); West Bend Dance and Tumbling (Wis.); and Westport YMCA (Conn.).
In addition to numerous performances, the week includes International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) galas and an educational forum. The World Gymnaestrada will take place at several venues in western Austria: the Dornbirn Birkenwiese Stadium, the Dornbirn Trade Exhibition Ground, the Reichshof Stadium at Lustenau, and eight open-air stages in the villages and towns of the Vorarlberg Rhine Valley.
The World Gymnaestrada, the official world event of the FIG for group gymnastics, is a gymnastic festival where everyone actively participates. The Gymnaestrada traces its history back to the World Gymnastics Festival, which was an outgrowth of national gymnastic 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 Gymnastic 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 Gymnastrada, visit www.wg2007.com.