Satisfied participants at the MWC in Vuokatti despite the extreme cold

27 February 2024     Vuokatti, the small Finnish village belongs to the municipality of Sotkamo in the Kainuu region. It is located in the middle of Finland in the Arctic lake district, on the border with Lapland. It is a paradise for cross-country skiers, who have a total of 190 kilometers of trails at their disposal that meet the requirements of an Olympic Training Center of the Finnish Ski Association.

After 2016, the 42nd Masters World Cup of The World Masters Cross-Country Ski Association was once again held in snow-covered Vuokatti from February 9-16, 2024.

Due to the icy cold of up to -35 degrees Celsius, both the organizers and the participants were extremely challenged. Thanks to the professional experience of the organizing committee in staging international cross-country skiing competitions, the 550 participating cross-country skiers from 27 nations were able to return home with satisfied impressions.

The organizing committee of Vuokatti showed its best side and was a great host for the international participants.

At the opening ceremony, a speech by the Honorary President of the WMA followed by a minute's silence commemorated the founder of the WMA, William D. Gairdner, who passed away in January.

Unfortunately, the first two races had to be postponed due to the aforementioned cold temperatures, while those over the short and long distances were able to take place. All the athletes were delighted with the tracks, which were perfectly integrated into the landscape and adapted to the age groups with lengths of 5 km, 7.5 km and 10 km, which were run several times, even though they had a challenging level of difficulty.

Most of the gold medals went to the host nation Finland. This is a positive sign, which in turn shows how important cross-country skiing continues to be in the Nordic countries. The Swiss Masters took second place ahead of the Swedish cross-country team. Even after the corona pandemic, interest in masters cross-country skiing remains high worldwide.

It is particularly positive that the President of the Finnish Ski Association, Markku Haapasalmi, was also on site to get a personal impression of the event.

Many Masters cross-country skiers have already signaled in Vuokatti that they are already looking forward to the upcoming Masters World Cups in Klosters/SUI from 9-16 March 2025 and in Sappada/ITA in 2026.