Innsbruck, Austria – 11.01.2020 – The Winter World Masters Games 2020 are officially underway! With the words “here’s to a great time” Kai Holm, President of the International Masters Games Association (IMGA), opened the event in the heart of Innsbruck.
True to the event’s motto “spirit together” the opening ceremony started in the early evening with the Athletes’ Parade. Around 3.000 sportsmen and sportswomen gathered in the centre of Innsbruck to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Masters Games. Led by the Mayor of Innsbruck, Georg Willi, they then processed past the famous Golden Roof, Innsbruck’s most recognisable landmark, through the historic oldtown to the Masters Village.
“Welcome to Innsbruck! We are delighted to host the Winter World Masters Games 2020,” was the greeting extended to the crowd of 4.000 by Georg Willi, who emphasised the unique nature of the Winter World Masters Games 2020. The enthusiasm and unparalleled sporting spirit of the participants was clear for all to see at the opening ceremony and inspired many of the guests present. Joining the Mayor of Innsbruck was Josef Geisler, member of the regional government responsible for sport, who described the WWMG 2020 as “a sporting event full of superlatives” and underlined the fact that “the WWMG 2020 are the biggest winter sports event in history based on the number of people taking part. We in Tyrol are honoured to hold this record and are ready to host a fantastic event.”
The following ceremony included a special moment for former Olympic champion Bill Demong as he swore the Athletes’ Oath on behalf of the over 3,500 competitors taking part. Demong will compete in the Nordic Combined event taking place in Seefeld. Another highlight of the opening ceremony was the presentation of the WWMG 2020 mascot, Joe, who will be present at nearly all WWMG 2020 venues. Joe is the father of Yosi, the mascot of the 2016 International Childrens’s Games, and therefore takes his place in Innsbruck’s long and proud sporting history.
The opening ceremony featured music from several bands, including Innsbruck Music School Wind Quintett, the Chorkuma choir ensemble and the STB Dixie Train marching band. It also included the first medal ceremony of the WWMG 2020 (Short Track) on the main stage. The first highlights video Road to Innsbruck showcases the sporting spirit and unique atmosphere of the world’s largest winter sports festival.
Following the conclusion of the opening ceremony, the main stage was given over to the Austrian band Matakustix for the first live concert of the WWMG 2020. With their unmistakable mix of folk music and beatboxing, they got the party started in Masters Village and gave all those present a taste of what is to come over the next week. “Admission to all the events and competitions is free,” added Georg Spazier, head of the organising committee behind the event, and extended a warm invitation to locals to join the action and be part of the Winter World Masters Games 2020.
Sporting competitions and cultural events coming up
12.01/08:30 Ice Hockey Men 30+
12.01/09:00 Alpine Skiing: GS (B&C) / SL (A)
12.01/09:35 Short Track: 1000m & Relay Finals
12.01/10:00 Ice Hockey: Women 30+ Finals
12.01/11:00 Cross-Country Skiing: Long Classic 30 km
12.01/12:00 Ski Jumping: HS42
12.01/17:30 Curling: Mixed & Doubles
12.01/18:00 Medal Ceremony
12.01/19:00 Kronehit DJ
12.01/20:30 Chorkuma feat. Anton Zapf
Photo: Georg Willi (Mayor of Innsbruck), Georg Spazier (CEO ITS), Kai Holm (CEO IMGA) and Josef Geisler (member of the regional government responsible for sport)
Photo: WWMG 2020 mascot Joe is accompanied by Yosi and the athlete parade to the Masters Village.
Photo: About 4,000 visitors celebrated the opening.
Photos can be used free of charge.
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