posted Jul 18th, 2005 -
The World Games were held last week in Duisburg, Germany, and parachuting competitions were a part of the event. Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), explains the nature of the World Games:
"The World Games continue to provide an invaluable opportunity for athletes from a variety of sports not currently on the program of the Olympic Games to compete in their own elite multi-sport event and represent their countries as members of a delegation, with National Olympic Committee involvement and support in an increasing number of cases. The World Games, for this very reason, play an important role in the sports framework of the Olympic Movement."
DeLand Majik 2002 - 2004 line-up with alternate Shannon Pilcher
Despite serious efforts over many years, air sports have never been included in the Olympics so far. This was enough reason for the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) to become a part of the alternative World Games in 1995. After joining the International World Games Association (IWGA) in 1995, FAI put great emphasis on making the participation of parachuting and skydiving in the World Games a success.
Together with 30 other sports, parachuting/skydiving was featured on the official sports programs of the 5th World Games in Lahti, Finland, 1997, and the 6th World Games in Akita, Japan, in 2001. These air sports events contributed to generate highly positive exposure for the multi-sport World Games. Parachuting/skydiving excelled in areas as important as ticket-sales and media coverage, and allowed the FAI athletes to take in the unique atmosphere of the Games, celebrating sport and friendship across all boundaries (source: FAI website).
Italy Sinapsi PD with Marco Arrigo at the world meet in Croatia 2004
The skydiving competition at the World Games 2005 in Germany last week did not get the same attention in the skydiving world as the Malevsky Cup 2005. In fact, it was quite difficult for the teams to accommodate both events in the team schedules. However, several of the teams that competed in Russia traveled to Germany just a few days after the conclusion of the Malevsky Cup 2005.
The World Games traditionally invites the best six 4-way teams of the last World Championship of Formation Skydiving to compete, the event takes place every four years. According to the final rankings of the 4-way event in Croatia 2004, the national teams from the USA, France, Russia, Italy, Germany and Belgium were expected to attend the World Games 2005. France did not send the national team, and Switzerland was invited to fill the open slot.
Sky Panthers with Michail Kuznetzov at the world meet in Croatia 2004
Three of the six teams in Duisburg, Germany, competed with the original line-ups that qualified in Croatia 2004. Italy's Sinapsi PD had Marco Arrigo back in the team for the World Games. Germany EADS and Belgium Spa Hayabusa competed with the same line-up, as well, and also finished in the same order as in Croatia.
The other three teams had different line-ups. DeLand Majik gathered in Germany with the 2004 gold medal line-up, except for alternate Shannon Pilcher replacing former Majik Center Outside, Joey Jones. Gary Smith and Shannon Pilcher had just won the first place at the Malevsky Cup 2005 with DeLand Fire and joined the Majik reunion at the World Games. Doug Park arrived from Russia, as well, where he had been coaching several teams. Solly Willams and Doug Park represented the new DeLand Majik 2005 line-up in Germany.
Sky Panthers with Alexandr Kvochur at the Malevsky Memorial Cup 2005
The Russian Sky Panthers did not compete with the original line-up, as well. The NSL News reported from the Malevsky Cup 2005that bronze medal winner in Russia, Michail Kuznetzov, did not continue with the team after the world meet. Alexandr Kvochur is the new member of the Sky Panthers and already competed with his new team at the Malevsky Cup.
The Sky Panthers traveled to the World Games in Germany even though they are not the official national team any longer. The Russian Federation assigned Extreme.RU as the new national team, and Extreme.RU won the first Russian showdown at the Malevsky Cup 2005 after nine rounds.
Actually, both Russian teams were tied before the official cut after nine rounds. The tiebreaker was the highest score of the previous eight rounds in Stupino. Extreme.RU won the official slot in the final round with the score of 25 points in round three and moved on into the finals of round ten. However, the Sky Panthers, as several other teams at the Malevsky Cup 2005, were still allowed to do round ten and get the scores posted. The Sky Panthers then traveled to Germany, while Extreme.RU prepares for the next showdown at the upcoming Russian national championship.
The competition draw has not been available at this point. However, DeLand Majik finished the 5-round competition at the World Games with a 23.2 average in first place. The Sky Panthers placed second with a 21.2 average, and Italy took the third place with a 20.4 average. The draw for each round will be added as soon as it becomes available.