First Ever Unified Roller Sports World Championships To Be Held In 2017

 

The first ever unified World Championships combining every roller skating discipline will be held in 2017, the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) have announced.

The Championships, to be known as Roller Games 2017, are expected to consist of 6,000 athletes from over 100 countries and therefore mark a distinct departure from the past where separate events were held for each of the various skating disciplines. 

Inline speed skaters compete at the World Games held in Cali. ©Latin Content WO/Getty Images

It is hoped that the inaugural event will combine the “precision and elegance of artistic skating, the agility and endurance of speed skating and the strength and precision of inline and rink hockey,” as well as skateboarding, inline downhill and freestyle, and roller derby events.

It marks the latest attempt to raise the profile and image of roller sports following the failure of attempts to be included on the program for the 2020 Olympic Games earlier this year.
On that occasion, roller sports was one of the eight sports in the first stage of the bidding process, but missed out in being chosen as one of three candidate sports at the expense of squash, baseball and softball and, the ultimate winner, wrestling.

Three of the roller sporting disciplines – artistic roller skating, inline hockey and inline speed skating – were also included on the program for the 2013 World Games held in Cali, Colombia, where road speed skating was also held as an invitational sport.

The sport is particular popular in some parts of the world, especially South American and Europe, but it is hoped a combined World Championships will be a further positive step in raising this profile further.

The FIRS are already seeking a host city for the inaugural event with applicants encouraged to submit their bids by the deadline of Oct. 30, 2014.

Three candidates will then be shortlisted on Jan. 30, 2015, before the host city is decided after a final vote on March 31.

Contact the writer of this story at nick.butler@insidethegames.biz. Insidethegames is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.

 

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