Annual Meeting 2022 in Vuokatti/FIN
3 October 2022 From Sept. 29 until Oct. 2, 2022 the annual meeting of The World Masters Cross-Country Ski Association (WMA) was held in Vuokatti, Finland, with representatives from 17 nations, making it the first physical meeting after the COVID pandemic.
Actually, the 2022 Annual Meeting was scheduled for autumn in Syktyvkar / Russia, as was the Masters World Cup 2024. But due to the world political situation, the WMA executive was forced to find a new organizer for both events. With the Vuokatti Sport Resort OY, an Olympic trainings center in northern Finland, not only a professional organizer was found for 2024, but also an experienced Masters organizer, since the Master World Cup was already held in Vuokatti in 2016.
The autumn meeting serves both the inspection of all locations of a future organizer as well as the annual meeting of the WMA. So the presentation of the Vuokatti organising team started on Friday. The National Directors then had the opportunity to complete the first kilometres of cross-country skiing of the new season in the world’s first ski tunnel. The ski tunnel is 1.2km long with easy ascents and descents and offers a recommended change from summer training and preparation for winter 2022/23.
Saturday was the annual meeting of the WMA. In addition to the day-to-day business, other important topics were on the agenda. So is the official admission of new National Directors. Poland has been a member of the WMA for some time, but the new National Director Andrzej Guzinski was able to participate in person for the first time after the pandemic. Japan has nominated Kenji Takai as new National Director and will compete for the first time with a team at the MWC in Seefeld. Taiwan and its representative Jeff Wang were newly admitted to the WMA.
The organising committee of Seefeld/Hirschau was online and gave an information update on the current state of preparations for the Masters World Cup in Seefeld/Tyrol from March 18-24, 2023. As in previous years, registrations can be made online at www.datasport.com.
Now the WMA has received an application for the year 2025 from Sappada/ITA. In February, representatives of the WMA will carry out an inspection of the infrastructure and tracks. A decision on the application will then be made at the 2023 Annual Meeting.
The inspection of the tracks took place in the afternoon. The focus of the National Directors was on the 5km, 7.5km and 10km tracks, which are being prepared for 2024 for both freestyle and classical technique. The tracks are sustainably built into the Finnish forests and offer enough space for all competitors.
The 100 000 cm3 produced Farm Snow guarantee snow safety. As early as mid-October, some of the tracks will be filled with snow and thus offer the best training opportunities for the athletes at the different performance levels.
When evaluating the venues, the WMA Executive always takes care to ensure that sufficient and suitable accommodation is available in the immediate vicinity of the ski stadiums. This is guaranteed in both Seefeld 2023 and Vuokatti 2024.
With positive impressions on Sunday, all participants returned to their home countries with satisfaction.
Now it is time to advertise the MWC 2023 in Seefeld. It is the duty of the National Directors to attract as many participants as possible. In this very uncertain and turbulent time, the event will help to unite nations and to practise and enjoy cross-country skiing together.