Grandi, Stoica & Titov present programs for FIG Presidency

Cancun will host the 79th FIG Congress from October 25-27. This Congress, among other things, will elect the new FIG President, and members of the Executive and Technical Committees.

For the first time in several years the current FIG President, Bruno Grandi, will run opposed in the figures of Adrian Stoica (ROU) and Vassily Titov (RUS). Grandi has been the FIG President since 1996 and he is the precursor of the open-ended Codes of Points and the reduction in size of artistic gymnastics teams in favour of individual gymnasts at the Olympics.

This week, the three FIG presidential candidates unveiled their programs for FIG Presidency.

Bruno Grandi

Grandi’s program continues to emphasize solidarity between federations “a solidarity programme with two core strands: the first focused on federations with a well-established gymnastic tradition; the second focused on federations with serious plans to develop gymnastics.” This approach has given him success among those developing nations but is starting to face opposition from the powerful federations. He also insists in the need of competitions to be shorter, well organised, and fair, in order to catch the audience’s interest. A positive approach to the audience is broadcasting online: “This channel (FIG Youtube) should become our chief vehicle for broadcasting at all of our main events.”

One interesting point of his proposal is the gradual inclusion of the Athlete’s Commission in the running of the sport. Grandi also says that the “conflict of interest” that still exists in some areas of the sport should be eradicated.

Grandi also suggests that “there is an increasingly urgent need to develop continental championships which will act as qualifying events for the FIG World Championships.” Additionally, he introduces the idea of a Junior World Cup, which seems to be against his previous mandates.

Vassily Titov

Titov’s proposal has judges as the main character. Titov wants to introduce monetary compensation for judges’ ratings and performance. One new point in Titov’s letter is the intention to ask the IOC for the inclusion of Acrobatics to the Olympic program.

Titov also wants to increase sponsorship and advertising and provide webcasts of all official FIG competitions in all gymnastic disciplines. He mentions an old idea of “considering the issue of entering junior competitions into the list of the FIG Official Events,” an idea clearly opposed by the current President whose tenure has seen a limiting of junior gymnasts’ exposure.

Finally, Titov wants to develop and approve the system of selecting athletes for participation in the 2016 Olympics, a system that most federations agree should be changed and that both Stoica and Grandi think that should be made through Continental Championships to some degree.

Adrian Stoica

Stoica, the current chair of the Men’s Technical Committee, acknowledges that ” we cannot go forward while looking back; however, there are certain lessons we must all learn from previous mistakes.” One of the most interesting points of Stoica’s proposal is the inclusion of Continental Championships as a qualification for World Championships and the Olympics, an idea that  Grandi also presents, following criticism from federations of the double qualification system for this year’s Olympics that put gymnasts in a too long peak period of time. This proposal could solve the physical and psychological marathon that some gymnasts suffered in reaching qualification to the Olympics.

Stoica also suggests an age limit for FIG Presidents, according to IOC rules: “I shall advocate the introduction of a 70 year age limit for the FIG President, similar to the one that IOC applies otherwise gymnastics shall continue without representation in the IOC, when the FIG President’s age is over the above.” His proposal also puts a focus on improve branding and advertising in gymnasts’ uniforms.