World Winter Masters Games 2024 - Lombardia, Italy
This season, we have not one but two major Masters events to announce! 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 the event in Seefeld in 2020 was excellent. 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 mid-February – read on!
Cross-country events will take place at the Vermiglio Cross Country Cross Country Ski Centre, situated at the northern end of the Val di Sole in Trentino, amongst imposing mountains and meadows. Vermiglio sits on the slopes of Monte Boai, made up of the three historic villages of Fraviano, Cortina and Pizzano, and over the years it has become one of the capitals of cross-country skiing in Italy and has hosted numerous national and international competitive events.
Nearest Airports seem to be Bergamo and Milan, and Zurich is not so far away, either. It is unclear exactly how to access Vermiglio by public transport (I will be coming by car from Ramsau) but, according to the internet, there are buses (about 6 hour from Bergamo) and a shuttle (about 5 hours). By car, the trip takes a little over two hours, and hiring a car in Bergamo or Milan might be the best option.
Dates and schedule
The event takes place from Saturday 13th to Sunday 21st January. The outline programme is the following. If, between now and January, you want to learn ski jumping, you can also enter jumping and Nordic combined events!
According to the WWMG website, there is only one hotel in the Vermiglio region and this is full! There are, though, several AirBNB places in the general area, and other hotels in Ponte di Legno, from which a shuttle bus will run to Vermiglio. If you send me details of when you plan to arrive and leave, and whether you’re willing to share a room, I will try to coordinate accommodation bookings. It might, however, be best to book early, rather than wait until the last minute.
Registration is already open, see https://wwmg.endu.net/ (and some of the biathlon races are already full!). The entry fee is €200 (with €10 charges), and it seems that entries have to be made before the 1st December. General information (albeit limited) is given on:
The whole website is currently rather lacking in details (e.g. no track plans, although the Ski Centre seems to only have 20 km of tracks in total), and entering could be a lot easier! When I did it, I had to enter the whole event, and pay, first and then, once I’d done this, I was able to enter the races I wish to do. Hopefully more information will appear on the website nearer the event.
Finally, I suggest that you act soon if you wish to participate, so that we can look in to accommodation.