World Roller Games 2019 have officially opened this Thursday at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. The opening ceremony had the participation of authorities, athletes and members of delegations from five continents, and has kicked off the largest roller sports event in the world, which will make Barcelona the world capital of roller and skateboarding until July 14th.
Carmelo Paniagua, President of the WRG Organising Committee and president of the Royal Spanish Skating Federation, opened the event to underline that Barcelona is going to become "the global nerve center of this sport". Ramon Basiana, president of the WRG Executive Committee and president of the Catalan Federation of Patinatge have also taken part too; Maite Fandos, Sports Councillor for the Barcelona Provincial Council; Gerard Figueras, General Secretary of Sport and Physical Activity for the Government of Catalonia; María José Rienda, Secretary of State for Sport; Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona; and Sabatino Aracu, president of World Skate.
Before that, the flag bearers of the participating countries have paraded, the World Skate flag has been raised and the participants have been sworn in, in which athletes and judges have committed to act with honesty. The event was closed with a performance of castellers and an exhibition of athletes.
Palau Sant Jordi is one of the 13 venues that will host until July 14th in Barcelona and four other subvenues, the eleven disciplines of skating. Anella Olímpica de Montjuïc is the epicentre of the event, which has other facilities in different parts of the city and in the districts of Vilanova i la Geltrú, Terrassa, Mollet del Vallès and Sant Cugat del Vallès.
Prior to the inauguration, Thursday morning, the institutional welcome reception offered by the Barcelona’s City Council took place at the Palauet Albéniz. The event was attended by the mayor of the city, Ada Colau, who stressed that the World Roller Games Barcelona "is once again becoming the world capital of sport.
PHOTOS: J. Monfort/M. Casanovas/WRG