(ATR) The inaugural World Urban Games in Budapest may have only lasted three days but organizers believe it marked a great beginning to the event.
Breaking at World Urban Games (World Urban Games)
“In Budapest we have seen a great combination of sport, of social engagement and a showcasing of culture. It has been a great way for people to express their creativity,” GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli said during the final day of competition on Sunday.
“When we talk about playing our part to stimulate a more active society, the World Urban Games is a great example of bringing sport to the people and engaging them proactively.”
Powered by GAISF, or the Global Association of International Sports Federations, the multi-sport event featured 300 athletes from 46 countries taking part in a wide range of programs from sports competitions, showcases and demonstrations integrated with music, dance and urban culture.
Initially destined for Los Angeles and slated as a five-day competition featuring 700 of the world’s best athletes in nine urban disciplines and sports, GAISF downsized the event after it was moved to Budapest in March.
The goal of the World Urban Games is to promote new sports and disciplines. The Games can also be seen as a catalyst to help showcase sports that might have Olympic aspirations.
BMX freestyle at World Urban Games (World Urban Games)
The six competition events included 3x3 basketball and BMX freestyle park, both of which will debut at Tokyo 2020. Breaking -- also known as breakdancing – was also a competition sport ahead of its Olympic debut for Paris 2024. The other three competition events were Parkour, Roller freestyle, and Flying Disc.
The USA ended the Games top of the medal standings, with three gold, two silver and two bronze.
Two other sports were showcase events without medals on the line. Laser run, which is part of modern pentathlon, along with indoor rowing fit in that category.
In addition, taekwondo presented a two-day demonstration of a brand-new competition format designed to appeal to
youth and young adults.
The Games featured a number of demonstrations for spectators to take part in. Performances from Chase & Status and Talib Kweli headlined the Music Stage, and more than 100 pieces of street art murals were created during the three-day event.
Budapest's Great Market Hall (Nagyvásártelep) in the south of the city was the site for the Games, with all events taking place in close proximity, to allow spectators to make the most of the sports on offer. The graffiti-covered venue gave an authentically urban backdrop to the event.
According to GAISF, 50,000 spectators filled the Urban Games Park during the three days of competition. Live coverage from Budapest was broadcast by Eurosport and the Olympic Channel. The Games return to the Hungarian capital in two years.
“I would like to thank the amazing work of the Budapest Local Organising Committee for its tireless efforts over the past year,” Chiulli added. “We are now looking ahead to the next edition in 2021.”
Written by Gerard Farek
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