The President's Note N° 5 2017

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The President's Note N° 5 2017

May 9, 2017

By Georges Guelzec, UEG President

Dear friends

I will come back briefly on the recent Artistic European Championships, proudly organised by our Romanian colleagues and friends. Please allow me, in name of all judges, officials, delegation members, to show them my admiration, my gratitude, my enthusiasm.

My admiration goes first of all to the National Federation, notably to Adrian Stoica and Mircea Apolzan, for never giving up, despite the obstacles which have arisen on their path. My gratitude is reserved for the organisers, for the volunteers in Cluj, who demonstrated the quality of their talent and hospitality. My enthusiasm, finally, I share with this magnificent, numerous audience whose fair play and passion for gymnastics impressed me. A true privilege unanimously enjoyed by all the delegations present. And, icing on the cake, our admirable gymnasts, as we love them and who have offered us a dazzling spectacle. I thank them for expressing our sport in such a beautiful way.  

Cluj was also a great opportunity to meet people, most notably the new FIG President, Morinari Watanabe. I was particularly pleased to discuss with him the development of our sport and to realise that, beyond the campaign themes that sometimes opposed us, our visions converge towards the same objectives, the same expectations. I am grateful to him for taking the time for these discussions.

I seized this opportunity to congratulate him for his nomination onto the IOC Commission ‘Women in Sport’. However, with only one other seat on the ‘Sport and Active Society’ Commission, gymnastics, a member of the Top 3 sports of the Olympic programme, in my eyes, lacks visibility within the IOC and its various bodies, a lack of image that some in my entourage have noted.

This presence of gymnastics at the heart of Olympism is important and can be of great use when it comes to defending the interests of European gymnasts. The dossier of their qualification for the Youth Olympic Games is a perfect illustration. I am confident that their voice will be heard.

Next week, our attention is fully turned towards Budapest and the Rhythmic Gymnastics Europeans. We are all looking for to it. Our Magyar friends love this discipline, having organised three editions of the Worlds (1963, 1996, 2003) and a first European Championships in 1999. For the historians, I allow myself to remind you that it was in Budapest, in 1963, that the first World title in this discipline was awarded. A historical moment for Ludmilla Savinkova and a consecration for the Soviet rhythmic school, the birthplace of this discipline.

On 1st September, the UEG will welcome its new General Director. As recently announced, Lisa Worthmann will take over from Kirsi Erofejeff-Engman. When she takes leave at the end of June, I will go into more detail about the magnificent course and the legacy left by Kirsi after seven years of loyal service. In the short term, we can be assured of a positive transition and as such I would like to thank our staff in Lausanne for their action, their support and the warm welcome they will give Lisa.

With my compliments.

Georges Guelzec, President.