Gymnastics will play a starring role at The World Games 7-17 July in Birmingham (USA), with 21 Gymnastics medal events stretching over a week of competition that sees action in five of the sport’s eight disciplines.
A showcase of sports and events not presently on the Olympic programme, The World Games is also the only global event to unite Rhythmic, Trampoline, Acrobatic, Aerobic and, for the first time this year, Parkour, in the biggest and most diverse World level Gymnastics competition that currently exists.
Eight Rhythmic Gymnastics Olympians and a bevy of recently crowned World champions in Acrobatic, Aerobic, and Trampoline are among the more than 230 gymnasts from 36 different countries going for gold in the state of Alabama.
Varying Gymnastics disciplines have been part of every edition of The World Games since the event’s inception in 1981 in Santa Clara, California (USA). The newcomer for 2022 is Parkour, whose qualifiers will open a new and exciting chapter for the discipline with their participation.
“To compete at The World Games is to reach one of the pinnacles of sport,” said FIG President Morinari Watanabe. “This event casts a well-deserved spotlight on Gymnastics events not yet represented at the Olympic Games. I would like to congratulate each and every one of the gymnasts and Parkour athletes who have qualified to take part at this special event, and wish them all the best in their historic endeavours.”
In all, more than 3,600 athletes representing 104 nations are slated to compete in 34 sports in Birmingham, where 223 sets of medals are up for grabs in everything from American Football to Wakeboarding. The Gymnastics lineup includes competitions in Rhythmic, Tumbling, Double Mini-trampoline, Acrobatic, Aerobic, and Parkour beginning 10 July and continuing through the remainder of the Games.
Apparatus finals in Individual Rhythmic Gymnastics and Aerobic competitions in Mixed Pair, Trio, Group, and Aerobic Dance, Acrobatic Women’s Pair, Men’s Pair, Mixed Pair, Women’s Group, and Men’s Group, as well as men’s and women’s Tumbling and Double Mini-trampoline will be held at Legacy Arena inside the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Sloss Furnaces, a former ironworks-turned-historic landmark, welcomes Parkour’s men’s and women’s Speed and Freestyle events.
Who to watch
Individual Rhythmic gymnasts, whose discipline is currently the sole crossover sport governed by the FIG with the Olympic Games, will contend for medals with each of the four individual apparatus Hoop, Ball, Clubs and Ribbon.
Tokyo 2020 top-10 All-Around finishers Boryana Kaleyn (BUL), Milena Baldassarri (ITA) , and Viktoriia Onopriienko (UKR), will contend against exciting newcomers, including new European champion Daria Atamanov (ISR) and rising star Sofia Raffaeli (ITA) in what promises to be an almighty battle for gold between many of the most illustrious names in the sport.
With no returning World Games champions in Trampoline, Aerobic, or Acrobatic Gymnastics on the start lists, all eyes will turn to the newly crowned World champions in all three disciplines, and plenty abound. With three golds apiece, Daniel Bali and Fanni Mazacs (HUN) were the most successful athletes at last month’s Aerobic World Championships in Portugal, and will have the chance to repeat the achievement in the U.S.
In Acrobatic Gymnastics, all five of the reigning World champion pairs or groups in the Combined events will compete, rekindling some old rivalries. Especially strong are Helena Heijens and Bram Roettger (BEL), who in their short time as a mixed pair have never lost a competition. Belgium also proved supreme in Women’s Group, while Great Britain’s Men’s Group won two of a possible three golds at the Worlds in Baku (AZE) this spring.
Three-time Double Mini-trampoline World champion Lina Sjoeberg (SWE) and reigning Tumbling World champion Megan Kealy (GBR) will be among the favourites in their disciplines as well.
In Parkour, Swedish stars Miranda Tibbling and Elis Torhall, winners of May’s FIG World Cup at FISE Montpellier in women’s Speed and men’s Freestyle, respectively, highlight the start lists in Birmingham.
How to follow
A live stream of all Gymnastics and Parkour events will be available via the Olympic Channel on Olympics.com, the IOC’s sports content hub. The Channel also shows replays once the Games have started. An embedded player from the Olympic Channel will also be visible on the FIG event page. Events will be shown live on this player, with geoblocking in effect in territories where television rights have been sold.
Additional ways to follow the action:
- The FIG event microsite, including the detailed competition schedule, live results, medal standings, competition format.
- TWG2022 is the official website of The World Games 2022
- The website of the International World Games Association
- The overall schedule can be viewed here.
Follow the FIG, IWGA, and TWG2022 on social media using the official event hashtag #TWG2022.