OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: World Games Unicycle Convention at Akita, Japan

March 10, 2001

Hi All,

I apologize for the delay in my writing a detailed announcement regarding the
World Games Unicycle Convention, which has been officially approved by the World
Games authorities (the delay is partially due to the prolonged negotiations).

Though the event is only about six months away, I would like to clarify that
this event is not at all like a Unicon and no major preparations need to be
made by overseas participants. There is plenty of time for any individual or
teams to apply. It is basically an event for demonstration purposes, with the
Japan Unicycle Association acting as the main organizer. I believe it is an
extremely important event in the history of the sport of unicycling, since it
is a first, official step in the direction of achieving one of our ultimate
goals – Olympic status.

Below is the detailed announcement (I will try to make a website out of it).


    Akita, Japan held as part of the The 6th World Games (official name)
    (WG2000) The World Games 2001 Akita (popular name)


The World Games is an International multi-sports event organized by the
International World Games Association (IWGA), taking place every four years in
the year following the summer of the Olympic Games. In addition to competition
programs in sports disciplines recognized by the IWGA, the World Games consists
of a variety of social and cultural events such as concerts, exhibitions and
demonstration sports.

IWGA has close ties with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and accepts
the principles of the Olympic Games. In fact, IWGA and IOC both have equal
status under the General Association of International Sports Federations
(GAISF), which the World Games authorities explained to me serves as the roof

The World Games resemble the Olympic Games in that the world’s top athletes
compete, but they differ in the following ways:

* The participants are not national representatives of their countries.
* Athletes are selected by international federations for each sport.
* Sport disciplines usually march together at the opening ceremony.
* Established facilities are generally used; that is, the organizer is not
  required to establish new facilities.


A short time before Unicon X, Mr. Ogura, the head of the Japan Team to Unicon X,
was approached by the Organizing Committee of the World Games and they discussed
the possibility of holding some kind of unicycling event there. Mr. Ogura asked
me to take over, and I started negotiating with the organizers. At Unicon X I
made a brief announcement and distributed some materials.

After Unicon X I continued the negotiation but it was soon apparent that IUF
Japan, without outside help, does not have the financial and other resources to
organize such an event. In January 2001, a major change occurred in the JUA: a
change of policy to cooperate with the IUF and to become part of the
international unicycling community. That is, an abandonment of a long-years
policy of isolation.

This was precipitated by pressure from Unicon X participants, led by Yuichiro
Kato, myself, and several others, for more active participation in international
events. Some UX participants wanted to establish an independent organization,
called the Japan International Unicycling Association (JIUA), but in January a
crisis was averted and the International Committee of the Japan Unicycle
Association (JUA-IC) was established, with Masanori Wakae as the chairman and I
as chief consultant (I deliberately turned down an offer to be chairman since I
want this organization to be run by the Japanese).

To make a long story short, the JUA has offered full cooperation in organizing a
unicycling event at the World Games, and after much negotiations (in which I
participated) we were rewarded by great success: that is, not only would we hold
a demonstration, but a full-scale unicycle convention at the time and place of
the World Games.

The World Games have three kinds of sports events:

 1. Official events
 2. Demonstration events
 3. Sanctioned events (my translation of the Japanese)

For a list of official and demonstration events, see
<a href=""></a> (more website links below).

We fall in the third category, the weakest of the three. This participation is a
first step towards participating as a demonstration event in the The 7th World
Games to be held in Germany in 2005, and as an official event in The 8th World
Games, though from my talk with the organizers it is possible that by that time
we may qualify for some kind of participation in the Olympic Games.


DATES: August 16 (Thursday) to August 26 (Sunday) 2001

PLACE: Akita City, Yuwa Town, Tenno Town, Ogata Village, Yokote City, Rokugo
Town, all in Akita Prefecture

SPORTS DISCIPLINES: Approximately 30 (26 official sports and 4 demonstration
sports) Participants: Over 3,000 people representing more than 50 countries
and regions

TOTAL COST: Approximately 1.5 billion yen


ARTISTIC: August 25, 2001 RACING: August 26, 2001


The World Games will be held in various locations in Akita Prefecture,
northern Japan. The Unicycle Convention will be held in Akita City at:

 4. Racing: Akita Prefectural Park Stadium
 5. Artistic: Akita Prefectural Gymnasium

For details on Akita City, in English, see:
<a href=""></a>


Japan World Games Association Organizing Committee for the World Games 2001
Akita Many other cooperating organizations and sponsors. For details see:


Main Organizers:
     6. Japan Unicycle Assocication, Inc.
     7. Akita Unicycle Association

Cooperating Organizations:

     8. Japanese Ministry of Education ?
     9. Akita Prefecture Education Committee ?
    10. Akita City Education Committee ?
    11. Sasagawa Sports Foundation
    12. IUF Japan

SPONSORS For WGUC Michinoku Coca Cola Bottling Co., Inc. For WG2001 See (Japanese)


13. In the World Games: Over 3000 from 50 countries
14. Japanese participants in the Unicycle Convention: about 500
15. Overseas participants in the Unicycle Convention: unknown as of
    March 10, 2001


    World Games English Website: <a href=""></a>
    Japan World Games Association: <a href=""></a> Japan
    Olyumppics Committee <a href=""></a> Information on
    Akita Prefecture <a href=""></a> Useful infornmatoin on
    Olympic support <a href=""></a>


August 25, 2001 August 26, 2001


  •                   The Japanese Ministry of Education
  •                   The Japanese Ministry of Education


Competitors: 500 yen Spectators: free of charge


August 25, 2001 (Saturday): Artistic Unicycling Events Place Akita
Prefectural Gymnasium Events:
        1. Pairs
        2. Group Time: 9:30am to 5:00pm

August 26, 2001 (Sunday): Unicycle Racing Place: Akita Prefectural Park
Stadium Events:
        3. 100 meters
        4. 400 meters
        5. One-foot
        6. Obstacle course Time: 9:30am to 5:00pm


The awards will be sponsored by:
7. The Sasagawa Sports Foundation Cup
8. Coca Cola Cup
9. Others


Participants in the WGUC will stay at the students dormitory of Akita Branch of
(surprise!) the Minnesota State University located at Yuuwacho in Akita
Prefecture, or at ryokans (Japanese inns in Akita City).


For more information and to apply, contact:

 IUF Japan c/o Jack Halpern, CEO & President The CJK Dictionary Institute,
 Inc. (CJKI) Komine Building (3rd & 4th Floor) 34-14, 2-chome, Tohoku,
 Niiza-shi Saitama 352-0001 JAPAN

Office Phone: 048e$B!]e(B473e$B!]e(B3508 FAX : 048e$B!]e(B486e$B!]e(B5032
Home Phone: 042e$B!]e(B587e$B!]e(B3318 FAX : 042e$B!]e(B587e$B!]e(B2802
E-mail: WWW : <a href=""></a>

Though the JUA, rather than IUF Japan, is the main organizer of the event,
JUA asked us to handle foreign participants and teams.

You can also contact Yuichiro Kato, one of the main driving forces behind
the International Committee of the JUA, at:

The main organizers of the World Games are:

International World Games Association (IWGA Headquarters) Ekeby House
Luiksestraat 23, 2587 AL the Hague The Netherlands TEL.31-70-3512774

The Akita World Games Organizing Commitee e$B!Je(BAOCe$B!Ke(B

TEL.018-865-2001 FAX.018-865-2002

Stay on top, Jack Halpern, IUF Vice President Website: