On the ninth day of WWMG 2020, the competition of the individual ski mountaineers took place in Praxmar. The start takes place when there is snow, in the higher elevations there is partly thick fog.
Athlete number 60 included the 72-year-old American Bob Arnot. When asked whether he was ready for an interview, he explains: "I was born ready". When asked, English or German, "German" comes immediately. In 1968 he studied German for 1 year at the University of Innsbruck. Bob currently lives in Vermont, in a place he affectionately calls a little piece of Austria. Bob is happy to be back in “real Austria” and even in Tyrol. After the cross-country competition in Seefeld over 5km and 15km, the day before yesterday he contested his first competition in ski mountaineering, the vertical race on the Patscherkofel. In cross-country skiing, Bob has already successfully competed in many competitions, such as the Canadian Skimarathon or the Vasalauf. Because there is often not enough snow in Vermont, Bob started touring and developed a joy that he now tours almost every day. The American is a doctor and still works for various charities in Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Rwanda, etc. He also works for the American television, broadcasts in Arabic, Swahili, and French, and has also written a book entitled "Switch to Young". In summer Bob competed in stand-up paddling and became a world champion in this discipline in his age group in Hawaii. His versatility is very impressive.
The Swiss Cécile Pasche finished third in the vertical on the Patscherkofel and also starts in the individual race in Praxmar. For her, the WWMG in Innsbruck is a good opportunity to get to know athletes from other disciplines and to make friends. Through one of her friends - an Italian speed skater - Cécile got to know speed skating and saw it live for the first time. She was also a spectator at the figure skating competitions and is impressed by the older athletes who showed such beautiful performances on the ice. She is 45 years old and not used to getting older, but this is a very good school for her.
Photos © Volunteer Team Tirol