should FIG have hosted in Qatar?

Each nation needs make a post-competition review. 

It turned out to be an excellent competition overall. Better than I expected.

One problem was poor attendance.

A bigger concern in advance of the meet was safety of participants.

Since 2014 the International Olympic Committee has listed sexual orientation as a protected category in the Olympic charter.

The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play .

Yet FIG hosted in a nation where homosexuality is illegal. It’s also illegal to campaign for LGBT rights in Qatar. That should be corrected before the World Cup of Football.

I was relieved that both Israel and the women from Egypt were able to compete in Qatar without a major incident. Pingpong diplomacy. Sometimes sport leads to greater international peace.

The World Athletics championships are scheduled for 2019. There’s concern that Saudi Arabia and its allies including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt might boycott.

Personally I’ve been focused on the upsides of a Muslim nation hosting a sport where female participation worldwide  is greater than male participation. I’m hopeful small steps like this will help Islamic girls and women gain more access to fitness and sport.

At a time when the American President demonized Muslims, it was an eye-opener  for gymnasts from around the world to actually visit a Muslim nation. To learn something about Arab culture.

Museum of Islamic Arts, Doha

I’d say the positives outweighed the negatives.

related – Highs And Lows Of The 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships



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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

6 thoughts on “should FIG have hosted in Qatar?”

  1. WAG has greater numbers in US, Canada, and a few others….I’d like to see documentation of your claim that it’s larger worldwide


      1. As Jim said WAG is greater in USA, Canada and probably most English speaking countries.
        MAG is greater in Japan, Korea and German speaking countries.
        The rest of Asia is probably even or mostly MAG.
        Muslim countries would also be mostly MAG.
        I also think there are not many WAG gymnasts in India and Africa.
        It would be hard to say worldwide. It possibly is. But you would have to do some research as the distribution does vary greatly by region.
        Our perspective is probably skewed by speaking English.


  2. You are conflating Arab and Muslim in your last sentence. You cant do that. If you visit the Muslim country of Mylasia you wont learn about Arab culture- you will learn about Mylasian culture. Arabs aren’t just Muslim and Muslims aren’t just Arab.

    Oh- and all this celebration of the Israeli athletes being able to compete without any questioning of “Why aren’t there Palestinian athletes?” None of you want to ask that question. Ask it! Ask the Zionists what they’ve done to Palestine- ask about why the Palestinians aren’t thriving on an international stage. You cheer on peace with Israel but you completely ignore Palestine. That’s not peace- that’s going along with apartheid and cultural genicide. The Israelis should’ve be banned from competing until the Palestinians are free from their occupation.


    1. Thanks Brooke. All good points.

      I had one Palestinian at our coach education course in Cairo last December. But Palestine has never had a gymnast compete at Worlds so far as I can recall.

      Certainly I respect your position that Israel should be banned from IOC / FIG events. That’s what the IOC did with South Africa in Apartheid times.

      Still, I think hosting in Qatar was more good than bad for the world.


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