FIG President Bruno Grandi: A vision for 201619/01/2016
The beginning of a new year presents me with an opportunity that I would like to take to share some reflections with you. An Olympic year is always full of hopes and aspirations. On the sporting level, 2016 promises to be jubilant, as the Olympic Games sway for the first time to the South American rhythm.
FIG President Bruno Grandi at the closing ceremony of the 2015 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart (GER).
For Gymnastics, consecrated by the IOC as one of the three major sports of the Games, Rio offers a new occasion to display all the beauty and richness, both technical and esthetic, of our sport.
As we saw at the 2015 World Championships this past fall, we are privileged to have extraordinary gymnasts whose performances demonstrate all the wonderful virtues of their disciplines. We owe them strictly fair competitions, because nothing is worse for an athlete who has trained all his or her life to attain the ultimate goal than to feel that an Olympic medal has been stolen from them.
People have often told me that I am obsessed with justice. Sportive justice is the principle that has guided me my entire Presidency at the FIG. As there remain only several months before I pass the baton to my successor, who will be elected at the FIG Congress October 18-20 in Tokyo, I am proud to see this long combat for justice produce results.
The judges who will evaluate routines at the Rio Games are not chosen by their federations, but retained for their excellence. The judges evaluation system put in place during the past few years has permitted us to establish a list based on competence and honesty, thereby making the nomination process for the Games far more transparent.
At the 2015 World Championships, which served as the first qualifying competition to the Olympic Games, the judges lived up to the challenge placed before them. I have every reason to believe that the same will be true at the Aquece Rio Test Event this April.
This same desire for sportive justice has pushed me to plead for revision of the Olympic qualification system in order to assure that the best gymnasts, and not only those from nations capable of fielding teams, have the chance to participate at the Olympic Games. To this end, a new system of Olympic qualification will take effect at the beginning of the next cycle. The finishing touches for the concrete implementation of this system will be put on at the FIG Council meeting in Bangkok May 6-8.
As I enter the final stretch of my 20-year Presidency, it is a pleasure to see that the presentation of the World Championships continues to innovate, and that the competition has become a true spectacle that valorises the gymnasts and their performances. Last autumn’s Artistic World Championships in Glasgow, like those in Nanning in 2014, were particularly dazzling.
Before the big Olympic rendez-vous, we’re looking forward to the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in April in Putian (CHN), as well as the Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships in Incheon (KOR), in June, both of which promise to be breathtaking spectacles.
To all of you, I wish an excellent 2016, and my best wishes to all those who are pursuing the Olympic dream!