World Climbing Championship 2011 at Arco
On 28 February the Plenary Assembly of the IFSC - International Federation of Sport Climbing elected Arco (Trentino, Italy) as the seat of the World Championship 2011. The town in the Garda Trentino region beat the other two candidates, Paris and Moscow.
It could be the story about David and Goliath. But perhaps this would reduce things too much. The fact is that once again Arco has proven it needs not envy anyone in the climbing world. Not even capitals such as Paris and Moscow, as last Saturday the small town in the Italian Garda Trentino region successfully bid for the World Championship 2011. During the Plenary Assembly of the International Federation of Sport Climbing - held in Turin's Palace Hotel - a large majority voted for Arco as host city of the World Championship 2011. This is an important victory for the small town, since the other illustrious contenders were, as mentioned, La Ville-Lumière, Paris, and the capital of Russia, Moscow.
Italy will host the World Championship for the first time ever and we are certain that the time is ripe, especially since the first modern climbing competitions saw the light in Bardonecchia, with the famous competition SportRoccia 1985. This start came about thanks to the fortuitous intuition of Andrea Mellano and Emanuele Cassarà which subsequently, in 1986, saw Arco enter the stage. Since then the town has embraced climbing fully, acting as a standard bearer for a region which seems to have been created specifically for climbing.
Arco presented itself at Turin not only as one of the world's undisputed climbing centres, but also as the driving force behind the Rock Master, the competition reserved for the champions which for the last 22 years has celebrated the state of the art of this sport. Arco presented itself at Turin therefore with a truly exceptional history and experience. But as mentioned previously, it was up against legends such as Paris and battling Moscow which launched its bid, accepted by the Assembly, right at the photo-finish in Turin.
Like in all important competitions the final outcome proved exciting to say the least. The emotion was almost palpable when the three candidates presented their bid in front of the Assembly comprised of representatives of 50 different federations. Even the more so since Arco was first on stage with an introduction by Ariano Amici, the President of the Italian Sport Climbing Federation FASI, followed by a brief by Angelo Seneci. The technical director of the Rock Master illustrated the project designed for a great World Championship and underlined the importance of the support provided by the Autonomous Region of Trento and the Italian Olympic Committee. Seneci's introduction was accompanied by a video which presented the history of Arco and the Rock Master from the very beginning to present day, and two short talks by class testimonials, Luisa Iovana and, via video, Lynn Hill, who explained why they supported the Arco bid. The presentation was highly applauded, just as those of Paris, with a talk by World Bouldering Champion Jerome Meyer, and that of Moscow.
The time then came for the votes and secret ballot. Moscow was eliminated during the first round and the second decisive round was therefore between Arco and Paris. Like in all serious competitions, the minutes that followed are difficult to recount. What is certain is that the excitement of the two delegations was palpable. A glance at the faces of the Arco delegation spoke a thousand words: from the President of the Rock Master Association Albino Marchi to Giuseppe Filippi and the Councillor for Tourism Roberta Angelini. This tension dissolved when the President of the IFSC, Marco Maria Scolaris, announced the Arco victory, 25 votes to 15. In thanking the Assembly a highly emotional Roberta Angelini announced that in July she will be proud to travel to Qinghai in China to receive the baton from the organisers of the next World Championship.
The outcome in Turin is a great victory and a great opportunity, which rewards not only Arco but the entire Italian sport climbing movement. It is no chance therefore that Giovanni Petrucci, the President of the Italian Olympic Committee, immediately paid his compliments to the President of the FASI Ariano Amici, as well as complimenting Marco Maria Scolaris for his re-election as President of the IFSC.
"We need to start immediately" said Angelo Senci "and prepare a great event which should become an unforgettable moment for the history of climbing and sport in general. We would like to repay the trust placed in us by 25 nations, the Italian Sport Climbing Federation, the CONI and the Autonomous Region of Trento which always works closely with us and sport events. This World Championship must become a great promotional event, with more than 50 nations involved. For the first time ever Africa will participate and this continent is already represented today by Cameroon." The date for your diaries therefore is 2 - 10 July 2011 for the IFSC World Championship, a great event which will naturally be launched by the Rock Master in 2009 and 2010!