Gymnastics meet in the name of the King
His Majesty the King enjoyed top-notch acrobatics and dance performances this afternoon when he attended the opening of the international gymnastics meet “King Harald’s World Gym for Life Challenge” in Brunstad, Vestfold county.
The meet, which is being held for the third time, is an unofficial world championship in performance gymnastics. This year Norway is the host nation.
Over 2 000 performers from 23 countries will be competing for a week at the venue to win the title as the world’s best.
The gift from the sports community
In honour of the King’s 80th birthday earlier this year, the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) gave him three activity gifts from the world of sports. One of these is the World Gym for Life Challenge. This year’s meet is officially known as “King Harald’s World Gym for Life Challenge”.
King Harald was greeted by the County Governor of Vestfold, Mr Per Arne Olsen, the Mayor of Sandefjord municipality, Mr Bjørn Ole Gleditsch, the president of the Norwegian Gymnastics Federation, Ms Kristi Gilbert, and the president of the organising committee for King Harald’s World Gym for Life Challenge 2017, Mr Stig Nilssen.
Five-year-old Tobias Børstad, from the gymnastics association in Asker, proudly presented a bouquet of flowers to the King upon his arrival at the meet in Brunstad, near Stokke.
After the spectacular opening ceremony, King Harald watched the first competitions of the meet.
50 million involved worldwide
Around the world, an estimated 50 million people are involved in performance gymnastics. The Norwegian Gymnastics Federation has roughly 100 000 members, and 60 000 of them are actively involved in performance gymnastics.
From this afternoon until Friday, performers will compete in categories for large groups and small groups on or with apparatus, and large groups and small groups gymnastics and dance. The gold-medal winners from these contests will go on to the finals at Saturday evening’s grand gala event to compete for the World Group Champion trophy.