I owe a huge apology to France - because when I wrote that this was the second mondial I had miscounted - the first MONDIAL was in Vichy, France 1988 and was the brain child of the then French Parachuting Federation President, Bernard Colas.
France had bid to host the Canopy Formations World Championship in Vichy 1988, and because of interest from a TV company the previous World Championships in 1984 in Vichy, it seemed to make sense to Bernard Colas to have an all discipline championship both for the sport, athletes and media coverage. In 1988 the CF World Championlships was combined with Style and Accuracy (as it was known then) and Formation Skydiving, and so became the first Mondial (multiple championships).
This was a passionate belief held by Bernard Colas and the French and they spent the next 10 or so years trying to get the concept of hosting multiple championships (Mondials) into the IPC classification of competition - and again, in 2003, 15 years later, France won their bid to host a Mondial in Gap, France - this time covering 4 disciplines, Style and Accuracy, Formation Skydiving (including the 2nd Female 4-Way event), 2 Artistic Events and Canopy Formations.
Today the mantle has been taken on by the United Arab Emirates - and this Mondial will be the largest ever, covering the most disciplines but the seeds were sown by the French in 1988.
Susan Dixon, 26th November 2012