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FIG President-Elect Morinari Watanabe Has Innovative Plans
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

The December 2016 issue of International Gymnast features an interview with Morinari Watanabe, who will succeed FIG President Bruno Grandi on Jan. 1, 2017. A former gymnast in high school and college, the humble Watanabe, 57, also served as Executive Director and Secretary General of the Japan Gymnastics Association. In his interview he openly discusses several topics, including his plan to grow gymnastics, a 24-hour Gymnastics Channel and even his Samurai upbringing.

Following are excerpts:

On how to improve the popularity of gymnastics…

"Currently, competitions are best for those who know and follow gymnastics. To those who are not familiar with gymnastics, it is hard to understand what is excellent in gymnastics or why those scores are given. In such circumstances, the number of fans will not increase. I will transform a gymnastics competition into one that is easy to understand and exciting for everybody. That is to say, to evolve the competition from one for gymnastics fans to the one that generates gymnastics fans."

On the 2020 Olympics featuring 4-member teams…

"I understand that the reason why the number of gymnasts on a team at the Olympics will change from 5 to 4 is because of the opinion that as many federations as possible should take part in the Olympics. It is impossible to argue with this. The most important thing is to develop gymnastics in the world. I myself am aware that there is something in the new Olympic qualification system that is not clear enough."

On how long he envisions remaining as FIG President…

"I would like to devote myself with utmost effort for the world gymnastics family every single day. When the gymnastics family thinks that they don’t need me anymore, it will be time for me to end my term. How long I remain as FIG President is not decided by myself. It’s a matter all of you decide."

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Comments (1)add comment

Nyffeler said:

Former Memebr EC and Council FIG
I full agree with you!
November 26, 2016
Votes: +0

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