Short Stories

A brief history of the Winter World Masters Games

As one of the most famous winter sport destinations in the world, Innsbruck, hosts our winter event, we’re taking a look at the short but eventful history of the Winter World Masters Games.

The Winter World Masters Games are a decade old this year. Since their inception in 2010, the Games have been an event that thousands of Masters winter athletes can meet and participate in the sports they love.

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The Games have traditionally welcomed athletes of all skill levels, and this is no different with the third edition hosted in Innsbruck, Austria this January. They present a chance to test skills in an official competition format, meet like-minded athletes, and party!

Some time ago, we decided at the IMGA that masters winter athletes deserved a world-class event that allows them to do all of the above. With the World Masters Games going from strength to strength, it was time to lower the temperature and launch a winter edition.

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Where it all began...

The first Games were held in the beautiful town of Bled in Slovenia. This picturesque place, with the motto ‘Games for You’, provided a home for a mammoth 3,000 visitors from 42 countries. They competed in 6 sports: giant slalom, cross-country skiing, biathlon, ski jumping, ice hockey and futsal.

For the much anticipated second edition, the Games travelled across the Atlantic to North America. 1,600 athletes made Quebec their home for the Games, and as one of Canada’s many winter sport destinations, it lived up to its reputation and delivered a fantastic event. 9 sports were on the programme in Quebec, alpine skiing, biathlon, curling, ice hockey, parallel slalom, snow shoeing, speed skating and triathlon.

Today, the third edition of the Games are underway in Innsbruck. Over 3,000 competitors have been welcomed into Tyrol’s capital.

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© International Masters Games Association (IMGA)

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