World Winter Masters Games 2020
If the MWC is seen as the annual World Championships, then the World Winter Masters Games might be seen as the Olympics for Masters, occurring once every four years. The event covers rather more winter sports than the MWC (twelve) but, from a cross-country point of view, the events are very similar and of a similar level to the MWC. Some of you will remember the rather un-sausage factory experience we had at this event in Pokljuka, Slovenia, some years ago (although one bronze medal was won by GBR), but the organisers have become a lot more professional since then, and this event would be a good one in its own right or, taking place in January, it is a perfect prelude to the Masters World Championships in early March.
Where and when
The event as a whole, recognised by the IOC and expected to attract around 3 000 athletes, will be based in Innsbruck, Austria, but the cross-country events will all take place up above Innsbruck, in Seefeld, a venue very well-known to British skiers and where the MWC was held in 1988 and, with 1 480 participants, was the biggest-ever MWC, and again in 2003. It hosted the FIS Nordic World Championships this year, and has extensive trails including those suitable for Masters skiing. Masters ski jumping, Nordic combined, biathlon and ski orienteering will all take place in Seefeld.
Dates and races
There are four cross-country races scheduled, a little shorter than the MWC: 7.5 km, 15 km, 30 km and relay (older skiers do 5, 10 and 15 km). The event starts on Friday 10th January and the races are scheduled as follows:
– Sunday 12th January, 30/15 km classic
– Monday 13th January, 7.5/5 classic
– Tuesday 14th January, 7.5/5 free
– Wednesday 15th January, 15/10 km classic
– Thursday 16th January, 15/10 km free
– Friday 17th January, relay
– Saturday 18th January, 30/15 km free
The opening and closing ceremonies (in Innsbruck) are on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
One of the many Masters-friendly race tracks
The entry fee, which allows you to race in any three cross-country races, is €180, and entries close on the 1st November.
The nearest airports are Innsbruck itself, or Munich. There should be public transport (bus) from the airport to Seefeld. Driving from the UK is another reasonable option.
The website for this event is https://www.innsbruck2020.com/en/winter-world-masters-games/, and this contains full details of events and how to register.
You compete as an individual skier, not as part of a GBR team, so you need to organise your own travel, registration and accommodation. However, I am willing to coordinate British skiers, keep a list of participants and share information about where people are staying, so please feel free to keep in touch.