With Rotterdam being announced as the host of the 2026 World Championships, the news has me thinking about how this fits into larger gymnastics history as a whole. So I came up with some quirky facts:
-Rotterdam (Netherlands) joins Stuttgart (Germany) as only the second city to have ever hosted the World Championships three different times in the era where the event was open to female participants.
-Coincidentally, the first time Rotterdam and Stuttgart hosted the World Championships came on back-to-back occasions in 1987 and 1989.
-Currently, Europe is slated to host three of the next four World Championships from 2022-2026 with significant speculation that Copenhagen (Denmark) is the favorite to win the bid for the 2025 World Championships.
-The last time Europe hosted this many consecutive World Championships was when it hosted four straight times from 2006-2010.
Besides the 2006-2010 and 2022-2026 streaks, the other occasions Europe hosted consecutive World Championships:
2001-2002: Europe hosted a standard World Championships in 2001 and an EF-Only World Championships in 2002.
1992-1994: Europe hosted an EF-Only World Championships in 1992 during an Olympic year and a non-team World Championships in 1993. Europe then hosted a “split” World Championships in 1994 where the team competition was held in Germany while the individual events were contested in Australia.
1987-1989: The previously mentioned Rotterdam and Stuttgart back-to-back World Championships. It was the only time from 1979-2005 where Europe was awarded a full TF-AA-EF World Championships under the traditional process.
1981-1983: Europe hosted a standard World Championships in both 1981 and 1983, however this back-to-back World Championships on European soil was unplanned. Mexico City was slated to host in 1981 but withdrew on short notice. This left Moscow which had just hosted the 1980 Olympics as the ideal candidate for an emergency replacement. Coincidently, history would repeat itself with Japan serving as both the Olympic host and an emergency replacement for the gymnastics World Championships in 2021, albeit in different cities.
1896-1978: Prior to 1979 every gymnastics World Championships was held on European soil.