The Austrian National anthem played as the flag was lowered to bring a close to this year’s 16th World Gymnaestrada (WG). What a week it has been for the 13 gymnasts from Donegal’s Finesse G.C. who were representing Ireland at this huge event.
The opening ceremony gave the team a taste of what was to come. The honour of flag bearer went to Ellie King from Lettermacaward, who lead the Irish team into the ceremony. On entering the packed out Birkenwiese Stadium the Irish team was welcomed by the compare stating that “our friends from the Emerald Isle have made it”.
This is only the second time in WG history that Ireland has been in attendance.
The WG is the biggest participation event in world sport. With over 20,000 gymnasts from 68 countries spanning 5 continents.
The WG It is held every four years much like the Olympics. It is allocated to a different country around the globe by FIG the gymnastics governing body. The focus of WG is to show to the world what can be achieved in gymnastics. Countries from around the world come together to showcase their talent and the culture of their various countries. The choreography is designed both to challenge the participants and to delight audiences.
Finesse’s representation for Ireland came from their last world Gym for Life competition in Norway where they returned home with bronze medals.
Over the course of the week the team performed 4 times to packed arenas. Their routine is called surviving the storm. It is a mix of gymnastics, sports acro and dance. They received huge applause from the audience and even achieved a standing ovation for their final performance in a world class arena.
The Motto of the games ‘come together and show your colours’ and these young gymnasts from Donegal certainly showcased the Green, White and Gold of Ireland with pride.
Irish GFA Squad 2019:
Amber Beecroft, Ellie King, Cara Nulty, Orla Lonergan, Sequoya McGettigan, Adele King, Molly Nulty, Ellen O’Connell, Amy Russell, Ella McBride, Ruby McBride, Aisling Nulty, Ita McGee.