C Opening Ceremony World Gymnaestrada 2019 (c) Fototeam Digital
Many still fondly remembered when the World Gymnaestrada first took place in Vorarlberg back in 2007. All of Vorarlberg was looking forward to hosting the colourful international event from 7-13 July 2019 once again. So that everyone felt at ease, considerable investments had been made: This major event had the honour of being the inaugural event held in a completely new sports hall on the grounds of the modern Messe Dornbirn Exhibition Centre. In addition to modernising the stations, the first-class rail and bus network was being optimised with additional vehicles, shortened intervals during the event and personal timetables for each participant.
Colourful hustle and bustle in Vorarlberg’s Rhine Valley
For one week, the region around Lake Constance was transformed into a unique stage for 18,000 participants and many visitors. According to the motto “Come together – show your colours” numerous performances were staged on different venues all over Vorarlberg. In addition to the central venue of Messe Dornbirn’s exhibition halls, the programme also featured large-group performances including from 200 to 1,200 gymnasts, hosted at the Bregenz casino stadium. Through the so-called outdoor stages in some Vorarlberg towns and villages, both visitors and locals had the opportunity to enjoy the performances from all over the world in public space. With the official World Gymnaestrada app, which was specially developped for the event, people could find all schedules up to date.
At the same time, the Rhine valley and its surroundings were transformed into small “nation villages” where all participants were accommodated as a whole nation. The accommodation was mainly provided by schools that were looked after by volunteers from all over Vorarlberg. Many participants, officials and visitors also lived in the surrounding youth hostels, camping sites and hotels.
For one week, Vorarlberg hosted 18,000 athletes, officials and guests from 66 nations. From the organising committee and the local gymnastics clubs to logistics partners, participants and volunteers: All of them worked together for years to ensure that this second Vorarlberg World Gymnaestrada was at least as a wonderful spectacle as the first one had been. To get an impression of the preparations,
take you behind the scenes and tell how the world’s largest gymnastics festival – as it is called on paper – became the gymnastics festival of the heart in Vorarlberg.