Short History of the Grand Prix Series
by Heide BRUNEDER (Vienna/Austria)
Zacharias, Baur (GER)
idea for this series of competitions was born in Germany in
1993. The then vice-president of the world gymnastics
association FIG, Hans-Jürgen Zacharias, and the
manager of the Swabian Gymnastics Association, Robert
Baur, made the suggestion to institute this series to
the European Gymnastics Union (UEG), so as to present
Rhythmic Gymnastics to the public more effectively.
best gymnasts in the world were to be included in a
ranking and prize money was also to be paid – this was a first for
Rhythmic Gymnastics. These requirements also guaranteed a certain
media interest, which in its turn was intended to motivate countries
to organize these high-profile competitions. Germany contacted some
countries to gain support for the idea. The first set of rules was
drafted in the course of many meetings with the UEG and in 1994 the
first Grand Prix Series was organised in the Netherlands, Ukraine,
France, Germany and Austria, which hosted the finals
undertook the patronage for the Grand Prix Series, however,
for financial reasons, the competitions were not officially
UEG-events. Heide Bruneder, the president of the
Technical Committee for Rhythmic Gymnastics, was nominated
as person in charge of the Grand Prix tournaments.
international Grand Prix Committee was founded in 1995 and Heide
Bruneder was elected as its president. Germany was
appointed as the secretariat.
Heide Bruneder (AUT)
committee still regularly amends and verifies the rules.
For each competition, a supervisor is appointed whose responsibility
it is to safeguard the strict adherence to the rules. The media and
the public have showed great interest in these competitions, in
particular as the participation of the world's best gymnasts is
guaranteed. The Grand Prix Series assumes greater importance each
year and is a fixed date in the international gymnastics calendar.
Each year more countries volunteer to organise events, so that in
2006 the committee was forced to limit the number of events to a
maximum of 12. Due to
the special character of the competitions the organisers are obliged
to vouchsafe particular conditions to the participants during their
Ursula Born (GER)
President of Grand Prix Committee
2001, Ursula Born from Germany has been president of
the committee – Austria is now in charge of the
the beginning of the Grand Prix Series, the Netherlands,
Germany, France, Ukraine and Austria have been hosts and
organisers. Countries such as Russia, Belorussia, Israel and
Bulgaria were added later.
to now, Slovakia, Greece and Slovenia have also each hosted
one Grand Prix event.
Since 2006, the Czech Republic and, for the first time in
2007, Spain (Marbella) have been added to the list of Grand
is to be hoped that this interesting series of competitions will
continue to develop and will add to the popularity of Rhythmic
Gymnastics with a world-wide audience.
Because the big number of altogether 10 world cup events the number
of Grand Prix Tournaments was reduced from 8 to six in the
Pre-Olympic year 2011.
* Heide Bruneder,
Grand Prix Committee, Vienna, Austria