The World’s Top Gymnasts Vie for Gold in Montréal

Speed, power, coordination, grace and gravity-defying feats—all this awaits at the 2017 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. More than 39,000 tickets have already been sold for this event, which will showcase the most skilled and exacting athletes on the planet.

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Essential event info

The World Championship event will take place from October 2 to 8, 2017 at Montréal’s Olympic Stadium. There will be 3 days of qualifying rounds, followed by two days of individual all-around finals. Last but not least, the event finals will make up the last two days of competition. As a reminder, the women’s event comprises four disciplines (floor, balance beam, uneven bars and vault), while the men’s competition involves six (floor, pommel horse, still rings, parallel bars, horizontal bar and vault).


Participating countries

Some 500 gymnasts from 80 countries will be participating in the competition. Each of them will put in their top effort to capture one of the 12 world champion titles. But there are no sure bets, as the traditional powerhouses—Russia, United States, Romania, Japan and China—are currently facing intense competition from countries like Great Britain, Netherlands, Ukraine and more.

Who to watch

Everyone has their favourites, but the gymnastics community will be watching to see whether certain athletes will be able to follow up on strong performances from earlier this year. On the women’s side, all eyes will be on Romania’s Larisa Iordache, who earned three medals, including two gold, at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan. In the men’s competition, Japan’s Kohei Uchimura will try to win a seven consecutive world champion title. Naturally, Canadians in the crowd will have their hopes pinned on seasoned athletes Ellie Black and Scott Morgan, and the rest of the national team. But as always with artistic gymnastics, competition will be fierce and there will be no room for error. 


Moves to watch for

For the average spectator, artistic gymnastics is a non-stop extravaganza of mind-blowing tricks. No matter what the discipline, adrenaline runs high throughout the crowd as we gawk at the incredible speed, strength, power and absolute precision on display. Hardcore fans, however, will be on the lookout for certain signature skills that athletes have invented, perfected and are performing in the hopes of having the move officially registered in their name. (An athlete must perform a unique move at a World Championships or Olympics to have it named after them.) For select athletes, leaving behind a namesake (aka an “eponymous move”) is just as good as entering the history books for medal wins.

Yes, Nadia will be there!

The 2017 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships are being held at Montréal’s Olympic Stadium—symbol of the achievements of Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 at the Olympic Games. That was back at the 1976 Olympic Games, when the Romanian superstar was just 14 years old. Comaneci will be on site at the 2017 championships in Montréal, acting as the event spokesperson. Her return to the Olympic venue will only add to the excitement and energy at the event.

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While you’re there

Good news for out-of-town visitors: Montréal’s Olympic Stadium is not just easy to find (simply take the metro to Pie IX station), but it’s also next to some of the city’s best attractions. While you’re in the area, you’ll want to check out the Biodôme, the Planetarium and the Botanical Garden, which will be holding the Gardens of Lights annual lantern festival once the sun goes down.