Artistic Worlds 2017 are in Montreal. Qatar is the only bidder for the 2018 Worlds. The Aspire Dome is a fantastic venue, the largest indoor sports facility in the world.
Though the selection of Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been controversial, I expect Gymnastics Worlds to go well.
QATAR Gymnastics Federation (QGF) President Ali Ahmed Al Hitmi exuded confidence about the country’s preparations for the 2018 FIG World Championships, following the grand success of yet another edition of the three-day Artistic World Cup at the Aspire Dome last week.
A total 128 gymnasts, including 44 women, competed in the event.
“We’ve the facilities and infrastructure to host any world-class event,” Al Hitmi told Doha Stadium Plus.
I’ve no doubt. He’s a good man.
I’m happy to see Muslim nations hosting big events. Sport is a great way to break down barriers. I recall meeting the South African contingent, white and black, at Gymnaestrada. Back in the days of Apartheid. South Africans love sport. One big incentive in ending Apartheid was making their athletes eligible for Olympic sport. RSA did not compete at Olympic Games from 1964 to 1988.
Unlike some Muslim nations, boys and girls train together in Qatar. It’s like every other high performance club in the world. Westerners feel welcome and comfortable in Doha.
On the other hand, LGBT rights in Qatar are few. The nation needs to modernize their laws in advance of 2022. Hopefully in advance of 2018.
I expect that event to be a big success, as well.