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FIG President, Bruno Grandi, Officially Bows Out

At the International Gymnastics Federation’s (FIG) Congress in Tokyo last October, it has been announced that Morinari Watanabe would be the new president of the organization, winning by a landslide in the election. This means that the outgoing president, Bruno Grandi, is going to step down from his 20-year ruling of the organization at the end of this year 2016.

Yesterday, December 22, the outgoing president has presented his best wishes before stepping down from his post. In an official statement, he said that as the end of 2016 approaches, it is time for him to bow out after 20 years of presidency. His leaving has some nostalgia to him, but also has a certain pride because he is leaving the keys to what he considers to be a solid federation to his successor, Morinari Watanabe.

He considers the organization as solid because the FIG now has 148 member federations. He attributes this success to their new development and education policy, as the FIG has witnessed at the World Championships and the Olympic Games, where new nations reached the finals and competed for medals. In Rio, 16 different countries were represented on the stages while many gymnasts made history for the sport in their country.

Fig President

In his speech, Grandi credited the success of gymnastics in Rio—where he said the sport redeemed its status as one of the great Olympic sports—to all the reforms that the organization has achieved together. One of these reforms is the establishment of a minimum age limit for participation in the World Championships, which is important to him. He stressed that rules change over time, but no one should forget that protecting children and respecting their physical integrity must take precedence over everything else.

However, despite this success, Grandi has regrets that he was not able to pass a final reform of the statutes to protect the field of play from any conflict of interest. He trusts that the new president would take on this now, to make it clear that FIG must comply with the IOC’s requirements, like any other international federation.

Before he signed off, Grandi said he was sure that gymnastics has a bright future.

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