World Skate celebrates its Centenary in Montreux

World Skate
World Skate

In a world of constant change, where few things endure, World Skate's 100th birthday bash isn't just a milestone - it's a lively tribute to the enduring legacy and excitement of wheeled sports.

From its humble beginnings in 1924, tucked away in Europe, to its current global prominence, this federation's story is a rollercoaster of resilience, creativity, and the everlasting camaraderie sparked by roller skating across generations.


Skating: A Journey Through Time

The story of roller skating kicks off long before any official governing body was even a glimmer in the sports world's eye. Picture this: the late 1700s, when inventors started dreaming up ways to bring the thrill of skating to dry land. Fast forward to the 1800s, smack dab in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, and suddenly, skates, skateboards, and scooters were being churned out en masse. It's a tale of innovation and evolution that's been rolling on ever since.


1924: The Birth of a Roller Revolution

Montreux, Switzerland, 1924. Amidst a whirl of sporting excitement, the Fédération Internationale de Patinage à Roulettes (FIPR) burst onto the scene. Led by visionaries like Fred Renkewitz and the Mayer brothers, these pioneers had one mission in mind: to unite the global roller sports scene under one roof. And so, the roller revolution began!


A Century of Thrills and Spills

From the roaring '20s to the swinging '60s, the IF has weathered every storm and celebrated every victory. The '30s saw the birth of European Championships and the rise of rink hockey, artistic skating and speed skating. Cities like Montreux and Herne Bay became hotspots for roller action, hosting events that dazzled the world.

Even World War II couldn't put the brakes on World Skate’s development of sports. Through the '40s and beyond, the IF kept the wheels turning, welcoming new nations and innovating new disciplines. the FIPR even changed its name to Federation Internationale de Roller Skating (FIRS) in the mid 1960's. The latter half of the 20th century saw the sport evolve with the times, from inline hockey and downhill to the exciting array of 12 sports that make up World Skate today: Skateboarding, Speed, Artistic, Inline Slalom, Downhill, Inline Freestyle, Inline Hockey, Rink Hockey, Roller Derby, Roller Freestyle, Scootering, and Skate Cross.

The IF got a major final facelift in September 2017, rebranding itself as World Skate and unveiling a slick new logo to boot. Talk about a modern makeover for a timeless sport!

Throughout it all, World Skate remained steadfast in its commitment to fair play, ensuring that the spirit of competition burned bright in every event.


World Skate Games Unleash Multi-Sport Spectacular!

In 2017, the World Skate Games kicked off, igniting a thrilling multi-sport extravaganza where all World Championships unfold simultaneously, in one epic venue! The inaugural edition took place in 2017 in Nanjing, China, followed by 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, and 2022 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And guess what? In 2024, it's Italy's turn to host the adrenaline-fueled festivities!"

Olympic Dreams Turn Reality!

First up, Rink Hockey takes the gold as the inaugural sport to grace the Olympic stage, strutting its stuff as one of the star attractions at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Then, Inline Speed Skating zooms onto the scene, making waves as a demo sport at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing back in 2014. And just a few years later, it revs up for a full-on feature at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

But the real game-changer? The 2016 Olympics. That's when Skateboarding grabs the spotlight, fulfilling a century-long dream for athletes and fans alike. And when the first kickflips hit Tokyo in 2020, the world knew roller sports had well and truly arrived. With Skateboarding set to tear it up in Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028, World Skate's legacy shines brighter than ever. The future of roller sports? It's looking like one epic ride!


A Future on Wheels

As World Skate turns 100, the future looks brighter than ever. With events like the World Skate Games showcasing talent from around the globe, and the promise of Olympic glory on the horizon, the roller revolution shows no signs of slowing down. So here's to a century of spins, grinds, and unforgettable moments.

To celebrate this moment all together we invite all the communities around the world on this April 21, 2024, to join us in commemorating this momentous occasion by skating out into your communities with skates strapped on and effortlessly hopping onto your skateboards and scooters, on the very day our federation was born a century ago. When you skate out into your city squares, we encourage you to capture on photo/video the moment and tag our official social media accounts while using the hashtags #100worldskate #worldskateday.

The journey continues, and the best is yet to come.


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