Innsbruck, Austria – 12.01.2020 – On day two of the Winter World Masters Games 2020, Tyrol once again lived up to its reputation as the number one sports destination in the Alps. Deputy Governor of Tyrol Josef Geisler, member of the regional government responsible for sport, strapped on his skis and took to the snow himself on the Patscherkofel mountain as a forerunner for the Giant Slalom event. WWMG 2020 ambassador Alexander Pointner spontaneously showed up to support him and started as second forerunner. The race itself featured both the oldest person taking part in the WWMG 2020 as well as the oldest male and oldest female competitor of the Games from Tyrol.
Following the WWMG Race, the opening event on the Patscherkofel mountain, today witnessed the disciplines Giant Slalom (Categories B and C) and Slalom (Category A). One of the first skiers up in the start house was Josef Geisler, regional sports minister and deputy regional governor, who in recent weeks had the opportunity to see some of the WWMG 2020 athletes training in the Zillertal Valley and was seriously impressed by the standard of skiing on show: “Wow, the level of competition is really high.” Inspired by them and the spirit of the WWMG 2020, Geisler decided to take to the snow himself as a forerunner for the Giant Slalom event. “It is a really special feeling to stand at the top of the course in the start house here on the Patscherkofel mountain, which hosted the Olympic Games on two occasions. Even if I was just a forerunner this time, simply being up there and feeling the race atmosphere definitely makes me want to experience more,” said Geisler after crossing the finish line. Alexander Pointner, ambassador of the WWMG 2020, spontaneously decided to start as second forerunner. The most successful couch of all times is enthusiastic: “Before the start I watched the ladies’ competition. The spirit among the competitors is impressive and the slopes are perfectly prepared. It’s a day of world-class and I am sure it is going to be a world-class week”. He was also amazed by the oldest Austrian competitor. “It’s absolutely impressive how he races.”
Oldest WWMG 2020 competitor and record-breaking Tyroleans
When it comes to age-related records, there is no other sport at the WWMG 2020 which can match Alpine Skiing. The oldest competitor taking part in the Winter World Masters Games 2020 is the 87-year-old skier Alberto Corsi from Italy. He is just a month older than the oldest Austrian taking part in the games, Gottfried Suppan from the province of Carinthia in the south of the country. The Alpine Skiing events also welcomed the oldest male competitor from Tyrol, Wilfried Steiner, who was one of the many skiers competing in the Giant Slalom. The 85 year-old also attended yesterday’s opening ceremony: “What a wonderful event. The atmosphere and spirit of the competitors is like nothing I have seen before.” Steiner hails from the town of Wörgl, around 45 minutes east of Innsbruck, but will be staying in the regional capital for the duration of the Games in order to make the most of all the events going on. Yesterday he travelled up onto the Patscherkofel mountain to inspect the piste conditions. “The clean mountain air up there suits me really well,” comments Steiner, who prefers the technical disciplines. “I am really looking forward to the slalom tomorrow. I only started skiing slalom at the age of 70 – and now I can’t get enough of it.“ After each inspection, Steiner does a quick sketch of the course and marks out what he calls the “hectic sections”. “That way I will be prepared for the race tomorrow. I am honoured to be one of the oldest competitors taking part.” Renate Abfalterer, the oldest female competitor in the Games from Tyrol, was also part of today’s race. “We live just a 30-minute drive from the Patscherkofel mountain. It’s great to have such an international race right here on our doorstep. The conditions on the course are fantastic.“
Alberto Corsi, Wilfried Steiner and Gottfried Suppan will all be in action again tomorrow, Monday 13.01.2020. The Slalom begins at 9:00 and will also be held on the Patscherkofel mountain. For start lists and results lists please visit https://www.innsbruck2020.com/en/start-results-lists.
Sporting competitions and cultural events coming up
13.01/08:30 Curling: Mixed & Doubles, Kitzbühel
13.01/09:00 Alpine Skiing: GS (A) / SL (B), Patscherkofel
13.01/09:00 Ice Hockey: Men 30+, Olympiaworld
13.01/09:30 Figure Skating: Ice Dance & Individual & Synchronized
13.01/11:00 Cross-Country Skiing: Short Classic 7.5km, Seefeld
13.01/18:00 Alpine Skiing – Rossignol Store & Casino Innsbruck, Masters Village
13.01/18:00 Medal Ceremony
13.01/19:00 Volunteer & Athletes’ Stage
13.01/20:30 DUST N BONES - Guns N' Roses cover band presented by Hard Rock Café Innsbruck
Photo: Josef Geisler, deputy governor of Tyrol and member of the regional government responsible for sport, takes to the snow at the WWMG 2020 as a forerunner.
Photo: The oldest Austrian and second oldest overall competitor Gottfried Suppan.
Photo: The oldest Tyrolean Wilfried Steiner at the start of the Giant Slalom at Patscherkofel.
Photo: The oldest Tyrolean woman Renate Abfalterer at the WWMG GS 2020.
Photo: Alberto Corsi, the oldest competitor of the WWMG 2020.
Photo: WWMG 2020 ambassador Alexander Pointner and deputy governor Josef Geisler shortly before the start.
Photos can be used free of charge.
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