Prague Hosts European Yo-Yo Championship
The world’s top yo-yo players were in Prague this week to participate in the third European Yo-Yo Championship. Although most people think of the yo-yo as just a childhood toy, a significant number of enthusiasts actually consider it a sport. Yo-yo clubs, associations and teams match their skills in various competitions on the international level.
The 2011 European Yo-Yo Championship’s organizer hopes interest continues to grow throughout Europe.
[Jan Kordovsky, Championship Organizer]:
“The European Championship is being held for the third time. The first time was 58 years ago. Then last year, after a 57 year gap, we organized the second European Championship. That was also in Prague. We would like the championship to tour throughout Europe. We hope that some of the European associations have the ability to organize a European Championship too. And we would like to make the 2013 World Cup.“
A few years ago, yo-yoing skills in Europe were significantly lagging behind countries like the U.S. and Japan, according to one of the competition judges, Patrick Mitchell, who was the 2009 U.S. yo-yo champion. But today, he believes that Europe is now on par with the rest of the world.
[Patrick Mitchell, Winner 2009 U.S. National Yo-Yo Content]:
“I’ve been yo-yoing for a long time, so I try to travel as much as I can to see different yo-yo competitions and, like I said, in Czech Republic, the yo-yo contests are better than anywhere in the world. They have good people, a good venue and good yo-yo players, so we try to come every year for this.”
The basic category, called 1A, most closely resembles yo-yo as we know it. In a competition like this, you get to see just what is possible – or even what you thought was impossible – to do with just a simple disc on a string.
Each contestant has three minutes to show their skills. The jury evaluates the technique, accuracy and difficulty of tricks, as well as contact with the audience, stage presence and choreography.
The 2011 winners were Thomas Bubak from Prague, who won first place, Mateusz Gance from Poland, who came in second place, and Wolcik Grzegorz from Poland in third place.
[Tomas Bubak, 2011 European Yo-Yo Champion]:
“Certainly I’m very surprised and I thank all those who supported me, and all the people who came here. I will consider participating in the World Cup. I’ll ask my mom and my sponsor, who would partially pay for the trip. I’ll think about it.“
With the 2011 European Yo-Yo Championship behind us, we look forward to rolling with the ups and downs for the rest of the year as smoothly as a yo-yo.
NTD News, Prague, Czech Republic.