Canada should host World Gymnaestrada

The World Gymnaestrada is not growing. Numbers peaked in Portugal 2003.

Lausanne, Switzerland 2011

Increasingly, other General Gymnastics festivals are growing, attracting people away from the World Gymnaestrada. (Coaches in Iceland told me that Gymnastraeda was too expensive. They’d rather go to one of the alternatives, especially those in Germany.)

The World Gymnaestrada has never been hosted anywhere but Europe. FIG should host on another continent, or change the name to European Gymnaestrada.

To me the logical first city outside Europe to host is Montreal. It’s a bilingual city with easy, inexpensive access to Europeans.

Cirque du Soleil is based out of Montreal, and would likely be interested in partnering. Cirque would have a modernizing influence, certainly. (Gymnaestrada has not evolved with the times, in my opinion.)

I’d love to see Gymnaestrada rules more restrict smoking and drinking. Canadian law would take care of that.

smoking is still COOL in Europe ... and that's a shame

smokers at Gymnaestrada 2011

Though the average participant is 30yrs-old, there were plenty of youth breathing in second hand smoke in Lausanne.

I’d love to see more health and fitness, less partying.

In Switzerland the organizers went on ad nauseum about Green themes. But there was nary a word against smoking nor (partner) Heineken.

Canada had 600 participants in Switzerland 2011, and put on strong shows. The USA had 300 attendees, by comparison.

Gymnaestrada is well supported by Gymnastics Canada. CEO JP Caron attended. Coaching Education Director Elisabeth Bureaud was Chef de Mission. and Chief Technical Officer Cathy Haines organized the Canuck school residence in Lausanne.

Here’s Elisabeth working in Lausanne, kicked out of the Chef’s area due to a special event.

Unfortunately, JP Caron told me there’s no great host venue for an event of this scale in Montreal. (Toronto might be possible.) He felt a Gymnaestrada of the Americas might be a more logical first step.

Who else might be the first European host?

Japan? Brazil?

Leave a comment if you have an opinion.