by Professor Bruno Grandi, FIG President
I have the pleasure and sincere honour of welcoming you to the magnificent City of St Petersburg, the stage of Trampoline Gymnastics' 26th World Championships and the 19th edition of the World Age Group Competitions.
It is a privilege to share in the emotions and experiences an event of this calibre has to offer, with its impressive bill of gymnasts from around the world. I am honoured to be here in a country with such long-standing gymnastic tradition, a country steeped in the fundamental values which are the cornerstones of the success and reputation of our sport.
This event is of major importance for two reasons.
On one hand, this is the first world championships of the new Olympic Cycle and as such is the backdrop against which the discipline will grow and stretch its wings. On the other hand, St Petersburg will feature new athletes competing for the first time at this level of competition, and will showcase potential London 2012 Olympians.
The World Age Group Competitions are a veritable trampoline for the up and coming generations whose sights are set on the Youth Olympic Games of 2010 in Singapore. I am confident that St Petersburg will extend a warm welcome to these gymnasts, and to any others to come.
As President, and on behalf of the Authorities of the FIG and the international community of gymnastics as a whole, I would like to express my sincere gratitude. Many warm thanks to the beautiful City of St Petersburg and its surrounding areas, to its Authorities, to the Organising Committee, and to all those who have contributed to make this event a big success.
I wish the greatest success to our outstanding athletes, delegation members and officials, and declare my admiration for the many volunteers and enthusiastic public who make all this possible.
With my best wishes, and thank you St Petersburg!
Prof. Bruno Grandi