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Gliding at "The World Games"   a unique opportunity in 2017.


“The World Games”, first held in 1981, are the international multi-sport event, meant for sports, disciplines or events within a sport, that are not contested in the Olympic Games. The World Games are organized and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). (quote from wikipedia.org)

The next “The World Games” (TWG) will be held in Wroclaw in 2017. In the TWG program there are disciplines that are not represented at the Olympic Games, with the most recognizable example: acrobatic gymnastics, ultimate, orienteering, body building, powerlifting, finswimming, squash, netball, water skiing, casting (fishing), and the air sports: parachuting and paragliding. There is no gliding. Why? While the first thoughts of making gliding the Olympic sport originated before World War II. One of the main reasons is that gliding is not a media sport by itself is that fans are not able to see the gliders, pilots and the contest.


Our aim is to bring the competition and gliding itself closer to a wider audience. To reach this goal, we want to adapt the best practices, such as the “Fans Zone” in Warsaw during Euro 2012 (soccer competition) which enjoyed great popularity. So, why not create a similar concept for the gliding discipline and bring the "gliders" to the observers? There is some magic in flying. Gliders have an additional element – they don’t have an engine but they are powered by air curents, which makes it even harder to demonstrate the rules of the "races". Is the ordinary spectator watching reports in media able to sit in front of a monitor for longer than the time it takes to eat a piece of pizza? One of answers is provided by a formula of the "Grand Prix", the increasingly popular 'tracking of gliders’ (determining the glider position using GPS and visualizing the current situation on the map) and the current images straight from the place of action (for example cameras placed like in Formula 1 race cars). On the internet it’s possible to find examples of movies with "Grand Prix" races in which the animated path is applied to actual pictures and a commentator explains current situation and possible strategies of competitors (link to an example). Additionally, if we could provide an opportunity for the event fans to sit in the cockpit of the glider and try to soar to the skies – even only in a flight simulator... what a thrilling experience! If, in addition, we invite entire families and offer fun and games for the children connected with education about the liquid-like qualities of air, we would be able to gain interest in gliding for longer than one day!


According to FAI Decision, the "World Class" in its present form will soon be terminated. The glider PW-5 "Smyk", built under the specific requirements of “world class”, cannot compete with modern, “super competitive” constructions. However, the Olympics offer far more than competition. The exciting atmosphere, the joy of spending time together, sharing emotions, in an environment of equal opportunities makes this experience magical. If nowadays we could organize the competitions using aged gliders like Grunau Baby or ABC, would the competition be less true ... less exciting ... less educational?

PW-5 "Smyk" possesses an element of Olympics in itself, with all the media advantages. It embodies the history of Olympic gliding (even if they were only a tries), the quantity and availability of flying gliders and the experience of competition among the contestants. In gliding, compared to other sport disciplines, experience is one of the most important factors. It increase with age. By giving opportunities to young competitors, we can create a new formula in which everyone will find their place. During ski jumping, the coach has a big part in the success prompting the moment in which the jumper begins to run down to the hill. During an F1 race there is a team at the back, building strategy and often deciding on tactics. If we create teams: young pilots in the air - experienced instructors on the ground, can't it increase interest and levels of emotions?


Collecting all of these examples and new elements in one place, we can create a "Gliding Fan Zone”: 'tracking of the gliders’ combined with the TV and Internet narratives, games and educational plays, access to flight simulators and many other attractions that make up the constant learning and excitement enjoyed by air enthusiasts. If this vision interests you and you would like to be involved in its implementation, we invite you to express your support for the idea of including the gliding competition among the sports disciplines at "The World Games Wrocław 2017".

The Polish Aero Club officially have made this proposal to the organizers of the TWG 2017 in Wrocław. Decisions about including gliding in the pool of invitational disciplines will be made soon (The decision is expected to be announced this spring - source: IWGA). Submitting your support will show that the discipline has a group of interested fans who can make the introduction of gliding on an Olympic level, exciting, attractive and no less interesting than other Olympics sports. We invite you to participate in and hopefully join this aviation event in Poland.


Please express your supportIt will make a big difference in the IWGA decision and in the sport of gliding.

A few words about "Smyki na Start" Foundation.

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