IWGA President Ron Froehlich: My Gold Medal for the Citizens of Cali
How would you describe The World Games 2013 in one sentence?
I have to compliment the spectators, the volunteers and the police.
What made this edition of The World Games special?
The acceptance by the citizens of each event. Even though they had never seen some of the sports before. In some cases, where they did not even have a competitor. The venues were full and they were excited, whoever was competing.
Did you already receive feedback from the member federations?
They felt - even if there were a few shortcomings – that the atmosphere and the coverage by the media were a great compensation. Some of federations came back to me and said that they would like to come back to Cali maybe for World Championships or a World Cup, because they really appreciated the support of the citizens of Cali for their sports.
What is the legacy for the IWGA?
Cali helped us to completely redesign and re-launch our website promoting The World Games. This is something brand new for us. And with over a half a million hits we consider that Cali provided a great basis for the launch of the new site.
And the legacy for Cali?
The legacy for Cali was explained to me by the Olympic Foundation: They want to promote sports at the grassroots and also to have more physical educators in the country. I would like to give an example. Colombia is about to establish its own Korfball Federation and the director of the School of Sports agreed to chair this new national federation. This was achieved by The World Games 2013.
Your recommendation for the next host, Wroclaw in Poland?
I am grateful that they all came to Cali – the Wroclaw team. They have a lot of work to do. The venues might be ready. I already asked the general manager Hanna Domagala: How does she hope to create interest amongst the citizens of Wroclaw to generate such a lot of attention?
Rugby has left The World Games and will be part of the Olympics. How do you feel about this farewell of one of the major sports of this event?
I am always happy when any of our sports gets the opportunity to be on the Olympic program. For me that shows The World Games are important for our federations. They get the opportunity to showcase their sports. We have many sports that have been promoted from The World Games into the Olympics. Our event can be considered as the stepping stone to the Olympics.
Do you think you can find a replacement that can be as attractive as Rugby?
Yes, I am convinced that we will succeed in this matter. But I don’t want to talk right now about new sports in our program, because we have changed our statutes on this point. All the federations have to apply for their sports and disciplines to be at Wroclaw in 2017. So this is new, compared with previous events. And this means that we will communicate with our federations before we start to discuss new sports for The World Games.
One last sentence about The Word Games 2013…
I would like to award a special gold medal to the people of Cali and Colombia for their great attitude and support during this event.