"The World Games continue to provide an invaluable opportunity for athletes from a variety of sports not currently on the program of the Olympic Games to compete in their own elite multi-sport event and represent their countries as members of a delegation, with National Olympic Committee involvement and support in an increasing number of cases. The World Games, for this very reason, play an important role in the sports framework of the Olympic Movement."
Together with 30 other sports, parachuting/skydiving was featured on the official sports programs of the 5th World Games in Lahti, Finland, 1997, and the 6th World Games in Akita, Japan, in 2001. These air sports events contributed to generate highly positive exposure for the multi-sport World Games. Parachuting/skydiving excelled in areas as important as ticket-sales and media coverage, and allowed the FAI athletes to take in the unique atmosphere of the Games, celebrating sport and friendship across all boundaries (source: FAI website).
The World Games traditionally invites the best six 4-way teams of the last World Championship of Formation Skydiving to compete, the event takes place every four years. According to the final rankings of the 4-way event in Croatia 2004, the national teams from the USA, France, Russia, Italy, Germany and Belgium were expected to attend the World Games 2005. France did not send the national team, and Switzerland was invited to fill the open slot.
The other three teams had different line-ups. DeLand Majik gathered in Germany with the 2004 gold medal line-up, except for alternate Shannon Pilcher replacing former Majik Center Outside, Joey Jones. Gary Smith and Shannon Pilcher had just won the first place at the Malevsky Cup 2005 with DeLand Fire and joined the Majik reunion at the World Games. Doug Park arrived from Russia, as well, where he had been coaching several teams. Solly Willams and Doug Park represented the new DeLand Majik 2005 line-up in Germany.
The Sky Panthers traveled to the World Games in Germany even though they are not the official national team any longer. The Russian Federation assigned Extreme.RU as the new national team, and Extreme.RU won the first Russian showdown at the Malevsky Cup 2005 after nine rounds.
Actually, both Russian teams were tied before the official cut after nine rounds. The tiebreaker was the highest score of the previous eight rounds in Stupino. Extreme.RU won the official slot in the final round with the score of 25 points in round three and moved on into the finals of round ten. However, the Sky Panthers, as several other teams at the Malevsky Cup 2005, were still allowed to do round ten and get the scores posted. The Sky Panthers then traveled to Germany, while Extreme.RU prepares for the next showdown at the upcoming Russian national championship.
|1||USA - DeLand Majik|
|2||Russia - Sky Panthers|
|3||Italy - Sinapsi PD|
|4||Germany - EADS|
|5||Belgium - Spa Hayabusa|