In 1970, the cosmonaut Volkov became the first chair of the Soviet Union's Sports Acrobatics Federation. He died on June 30 1971 in a mission as a spacecraft carrying him and his crewmates, Georgy Dobrovolsky and Viktor Patsayev, depressurized on her way back to the Earth. Following Volkov's tragic death, an international sports acrobatics tournament was established in his memory. The event, which received an unofficial status of world championships, was suspended following the collapse of the Soviet Union, to be restarted in Russia in 2002. Veliky Novgorod was chosen as the host city. In the previous, 2nd post-Soviet tournament, Russian athletes won all the golds.
The fixture is staged by the Russian Sports Acrobatics Federation and the Novgorod regional government.