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For the love of cross country skiing

The final Worldloppet race of winter 2019 is over, spring is already in the starting blocks and while your cross-country skis are getting ready to enjoy a well-earned rest over the summer months (at least until August when the Ushuaialoppet is going to open the new season), we are already thinking about their next assignment. We are not alone, because Walter Minatti, retired cross-country coach, is looking forward to the coming winter season as well.

“Sport and exercise have always been a beneficial part of life”, explains the Austrian. With the new season, an exciting challenge awaits him. Participation in the Winter World Masters Games 2020 in Innsbruck, a great Winter Sports Festival for 30+-Year-Olds. Over 10 days, around 3.000 athletes will compete in 12 sports in accordance to the Olympic values performance, friendship and respect – which are exactly the same values that represent Worldloppet as well. The Nordic disciplines are represented by Cross-Country Skiing, Biathlon, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined.

Walter Minatti and his cross-country skiing colleague Manfred at the venue of the Winter World Master Games 2020.

Cross-Country Skiing is popular and modern these days, but there were other times as well. “It all started in the 70s. At that time, cross-country skiers were a bizarre outsider group, which earned many oblique glances. We used skis out of wood and skied in classic technique,” recalls the Tyrolean, referring to the situation of skiing in Austria.

This image did not bother Walter at the time. “The love of Cross-Country Skiing was there from the beginning and has remained until today.” That the sports scientist and psychologist then turned his hobby into a profession and worked for 35 years as a trainer in the ski high school Stams and also for the Tyrolean and Austrian Ski Association, was a coincidence.

Seefeld, the venue of the WWMG Cross-Country Skiing races.

A constant companion in his life is the enthusiasm for the sport. One of the most exciting aspects of Cross-Country Skiing is coordination. “To learn, even with dwindling strength endurance and endurance, to technically run clean and to choose the power distribution so that difficult routes can be managed with fun, is challenging.” In addition, Cross-Country Skiing is a very pleasant sport. The intensity can individually be dosed and so is something for every taste. From short crisp to hours-long units, depending on the daily condition, the intensity can be adapted individually. Even in old age, sport can have a positive effect on the state of health. A feature that Walter advocates: “It’s especially important to me to focus on small goals that I can pursue in my pension age.” True to the philosophy of “Sport for All” and “Sport for Life”, the Winter World Masters Games 2020 (WWMG) support the significance of physical motion in every age group, which is the same goal, Worldloppet is following! Whether ambitious athlete or enthusiastic amateur athlete (or 5 times Worldloppet Master), everyone can participate in the Winter World Masters Games.

From January 10 to 19, 2020 this event will provide the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the world champions of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships of 2019. Everyone can participate! And after that, you could directly drive to Lienz, where the Dolomitenlauf is going to take place on the 20th of January!

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