In 2001 (Ghent) and 2013 (Antwerp), the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships was already held in Flanders. 10 years after the last edition, Gymfed, the Flemish government and the City of Antwerp are proud to join forces again for an unforgettable sports event.
Whether in stylish Antwerp, picture perfect Bruges, the capital Brussels, best kept secret Ghent or cozy Leuven and Mechelen, Flanders is packed with heritage. That enormous legacy was built by many generations of brilliant craftsmen. The same goes for countless other fields of work. Take Flanders’ unique food and beer culture. With the same boldness our chefs and brewers keep on building new heritage.
Antwerp, head over heels for gymnastics
Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world and Europe’s second-largest port city, Antwerp has always been progressive and open-minded. With its cosmopolitan vibe, it’s a popular destination for visitors on the hunt for culture, history and the best that the culinary world has to offer.
This city on the Scheldt offers an cornucopia of historical and contemporary delights, from art and architecture to leisure activities. Best of all, this creative, buzzing metropolis is still on a human scale. Not coincidentally, the city was tipped by both The New York Times and Lonely Planet as one of world’s ten must-see cities.
Visitors immediately fall for Antwerp’s charm when they arrive at its Central Station, considered one of the most beautiful stations in the world. From there, the city’s many architectural gems are within walking distance, such as the Cathedral of Our Lady, or the Grand Place with its stately town hall and sixteenth-century guild houses. Some of the world’s finest works of art can be found within these grand historical buildings, produced by Flemish masters Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck. Situated on the banks of the River Scheldt is Het Steen, the ideal first port of call for visitors to Antwerp. There you’ll find a visitor’s centre with The Antwerp City Shop, the ‘Antwerp Story’ attraction and a rooftop terrace with gorgeous views over the Scheldt.
More contemporary sights include the ultra-modern Museum aan de Stroom in the fashionable port neighbourhood Het Eilandje (take in a view of the entire city from the roof), the city’s famous Diamond Museum, Antwerp Zoo and the Port House designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Antwerp’s beautifully renovated Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA) is the largest museum in Flanders and ranks among the top European art museums. The famous Meir shopping street and the many characterful side-streets emanate a cosy and warm atmosphere with various eating and drinking establishments.
With all its character, its many sights and fun hidden corners, the city is a real magnet for youth and creativity. What makes Antwerp even more special is that it’s the second most diverse city in the world, with people of no fewer than 175 different nationalities calling Antwerp their home.
Antwerp is the ideal city to host the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships once again. As one of the 23 Olympic cities, Antwerp is a respected city in the heart of Europe, known for its port, culture, fashion scene and diamond trade. Suffice it to say that Antwerp is no stranger to hosting enormous events and large numbers of visitors.
With its quality sports infrastructure and a large number of activities and events for different target groups, Antwerp is a major sports metropolis with international ambition. In 2013 this passion won the city the title of ‘European Capital of Sport’ – the culmination of a joint drive to achieve as much sports participation as possible, with inclusivity and the power of sport as the main ingredients.
Sporting events are an essential part of Antwerp’s sports policy. We were already chosen to host the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships once before, in 2013. It was a true celebration of gymnastics, with a whole week full of high points – literally and figuratively – in a fully packed Sportpaleis. So, we look forward to once again hosting this highlight of the gymnastics year and welcoming all the best gymnasts in the world. The 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships is one of about 50 different sporting events taking place in Antwerp: from top-level sporting events to mass-participation events, such as the Antwerp 10 Miles, which is Belgium’s biggest running event.
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The sports agency of the Flemish government, Sport Vlaanderen, believes in offering everyone in Flanders as many opportunities as possible to play sports and stay active throughout their lives. Because, not only does it make us healthier and happier as people, it also makes us stronger and closer as a society. That’s why Sport Vlaanderen works together with the sports sector every day to promote sports and physical activity and to make these more appealing and accessible, with opportunities for people of all levels. Sport Vlaanderen invests in sports infrastructure (including thirteen of its own centres), training, sports promotion, knowledge sharing and top-level sports.
Gymnastics in particular has received a lot of support in recent years, with investments in the development programme for artistic gymnastics at Ghent’s top sports school, in Flanders’ high-performance men and women’s gymnastics programmes and in the expansion of Ghent’s state-of-the-art gymnastics hall for top athletes. In this way, the sport has undergone a thorough professionalisation, talent has been encouraged to flourish and female gymnasts have achieved better performances than ever before – the highlights being the European, world and Olympic titles for Nina Derwael and an eighth-place finish for the women’s team at the Olympics.
Get moved by motion
A magical movement, a mesmerizing moment.
Gymnastics isn't just a sport, it's art. It's motion and emotion.
Moving limits, moving fans and moving minds, hearts and souls.
Get moved by Antwerp, Get moved by motion.