It is 25 years since the IRV was founded in Switzerland. We would have liked to celebrate this anniversary during the World Championships with a great Wheel Gymnastics performance on Times Square in New York.
But… as you all know we are living in a pandemic and have to cope with the “New Normal”. Nevertheless, this date is a landmark and our federation has definitely grown up. We have come a long way. From Finnentrop (Germany) to Akita (Japan), from a group of easy-going wheel enthusiasts to an internationally recognised association with clear structures.
It all started with the first appearance of the German DTB Rhönrad Schauturngruppe (show group) at the 1982 Gymnaestrada in Zurich. Several international shows in Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and Canada followed; and many international contacts were established. The result was the first International Training Camp 1990 with more than 100 participants in Finnentrop (Germany), and the predecessor of the IRV was founded spontaneously during this event: FIRR (Federation International de Rhönrad). The young federation organised several European cup competitions and European Championships before the creation of the Internationaler Rhönradturnverband (IRV) in January 1995 in Basel (Switzerland).
In the early years, International Training Camps were combined with the World Championships. Many nations who were new to the sport wanted to learn as much as possible from the German gymnasts and coaches who dominated the sport. Over the years, a growing international community has developed to a high competitive level and training camps in direct combination with international championships have become less relevant. Gymnasts from many different countries have won a wide range of medals.
In the past 25 years, the IRV has implemented innovative ideas, integrated new elements, revised regulations and incorporated Cyr Wheel as a new competitive discipline. With the IRV Academy and the IRV Online Competitions, the IRV is again at the forefront of developing our sport.
Now is the time to reflect for a moment and take a look back at what we have achieved together. We have tried to portray the evolution of the IRV in moving pictures and had a lot of fun collecting old videos. We hope you have as much fun watching these highlights on the IRV YouTube Channel: “25 Years of IRV – The History of Rolling”.