2012/11/24 by grahamfawcett2012
The IVV and its members hold large-scale events in various parts of the world to publicize and develop the Volkssport program, at the same time encouraging international contact and friendship.
The IVV has held an Olympiad every second year since 1989 in the country of an IVV member. It is a celebration of Volkssports, and everyone is invited to participate. Events usually include walking, swimming, cycling, and sometimes other non-competitive sports. Along with the physical activities, social and cultural activities are organized to promote harmony, mutual understanding, and friendships among those who attend.
I have been fortunate to attend the last 4 Olympiads: 2005 in Plzen, Czech Republic; 2007 in Otepää, Estonia; 2009 in Yamanaschi, Japan; and 2011 in Antalya, Turkey. The next Olympiad will be held in Val Gardena, Italy from June 25-29, 2013, and the Olympiad for 2015 has already been chosen for Chengdu, China from September 26-29, 2015. The scale of organizing an Olympiad is daunting: major sponsors are required, agreements made with several different levels of government, contracts signed, site-to-site transportation provided, arena facilities found, food services arranged, trails from 5-42 km set and tested, swimming and cycling facilities, a cultural program and hundreds of volunteers are just some of the considerations. Understandably, it takes more than two years to plan such an event.
Europiades and Asianpiads
These events are held every two years in the ‘off’ years not taken by IVV Olympiads. Whereas Olympiads may be held wherever there is an IVV member, these two types of event are organized specifically by the IVV-Europe and IVV-Asia Continental Associations. They are every bit as elaborate and large-scale as Olympiads.
Europiades are held in border areas between two neighbouring IVV member countries in continental Europe. The first Europiade was held in September 2012 in Irrel, Germany and Echternach, Luxembourg, with parts of the program held in each location. A second Europiade has been announced for June 20-22, 2014 in Marostica, Italy and Naturns, South Tyrol (Italy).
The first Asianpiad was held in Suncheon, South Korea in May, 2012. As of Nov. 2012, no second Asianpiad has yet been announced.
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