North Park University to be Site of Wheel Gymnastics World Championships

International Wheel Gymnastics Championship

Athletes coming to Chicago July 8-14

CHICAGO (July 3, 2013) — The 10th Wheel Gymnastics World Championships are coming to Chicago July 8–14, with much of the competition happening on the campus of North Park University. This unique form of gymnastics originated in Germany, putting athletes inside a large wheel, known as a Rhönrad, to perform exercises in categories that include straight line, spiral, and vault.

Hosted by the USA Wheel Gymnastics Federation and American Sokol, the championships feature more than 130 athletes from 17 nations. General admission tickets are available, and can be purchased online. Competition will be divided between males and females, and junior and senior competitors. Awards will be given for best all-around, spiral, straight line, vault, and mono wheel competitions. This is the first time the competition has been held outside of Europe.

Prior to the world championships, the 8th USA Wheel Gymnastics Open Championship and first ever qualification trials for TEAM USA Wheel Gymnastics took place March 7–10, 2013 . Dubbed the “Chicago Big Wheel Weekend,” the USA Wheel Gymnastics Federation and American Sokol hosted this weekend of training courses and competition trials to qualify for TEAM USA in the July World Championships.

About the Wheel Gymnastics World Championships

In 1924 Otto Feick invented and built the Rhönrad (the German Wheel), and began traveling all over Europe and to the United States to promote the newly-created sport of wheel gymnastics. After a surge in popularity following World War II, the Internationaler Rhönradturn-Verband (IRV) was formed to oversee all international competitions and training. Seven member countries comprise the IRV and approximately 25 nations participate in the sport, with international training camps and World Championships being hosted in alternate years. The initial World Championship was held in Den Helder, Netherlands, in 1995.

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