World Winter Masters Games

By Ben Hamill - December 22 2014

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Where do athletes, from the internationally-known to average competitors, go when they can no longer compete with the new generation of whippersnappers? One place athletes who love competition can continue to compete is the World Masters Games. This event was first held in Toronto in the summer of 1965. It featured athletes from age 25 and above, although most games had a 30+ minimum age requirement. The summer games are held every four years. The first winter event took place in 2010 in Bled, Slovenia with seven sports and an amazing 3000 participants.

The next World Winter Masters Games will be held from 31 January to 8 February, 2015 in Quebec City, with 9 sports, 40 events in all, and an as yet undetermined number of contestants, one demo sport, and much more. As you can see, it is not too late to register yourself as an individual in your sport or your team in the team sports! The World Winter Masters Games are scheduled to coincide with the Quebec Winter Carnival with events galore for the whole family embracing the snow and ice of a typical Quebecois winter!


The World Masters Games are run by the International Masters Games Association (IMGA). The IMGA is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee. It subscribes to the following declaration of the Olympic Philosophy as it is codified in the Olympic Charter:

"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport in accordance with his or her needs."

The main thrust of the World Masters Games is to promote the idea that competitive sport is not only for the young. As we age, we should continue to participate in competitive sports. Athletics is known to enhance one's health and fitness. Athletes of all ages above the minimum and of all skill levels are invited to participate in the World Winter Masters Games. In every sport, there are events scheduled for different age groups and skill levels.

This Year’s Sports

This year, the individual sports are Alpine Skiing and Cross Country Skiing; Long-track, Short-track, and Marathon Skating; Biathlon; and Triathlon.

The team sports are Ice Hockey and Curling.

First Time for Curling

Curling has been added for this year's World Winter Masters Games. Canadians are known for their love of curling. Hardly a week goes by without a curling competition somewhere in Canada. In the Curling division the minimum age is 35. There is room for only 64 teams but you still have time to register your team! If you register your team before January 5th, you will be eligible to take part in a training camp on January 10th, at the Club de Curling Etchemin, given by the legendary Marie-France Larouche. Ms. Larouche was exposed to curling at 10 and fell in love with the sport. She was Quebec Curling Champion 5 times and won the Bronze Medal in 1999 at the World Junior Tournament. Marie-France is ready to teach you the full sweep of curling skill and strategy but you first must register for the World Winter Masters Games. Then you can register for this once-in-a-lifetime training session. And if you think curling is boring, go to YouTube and watch Jennifer Jones win championships!

Strap on Your Snowshoes!

The demo sport is Snowshoeing. The World Snowshoe Championships will be held in co-ordination with the World Winter Masters Games. There will be two snowshoeing competitions in the Masters Games, 5 km and 10 km. Each event is open to all participants. The Snowshoeing events will be held at the Plains of Abraham, the site in 1759 of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Today it is one of the largest urban parks in the world, where millions come annually for sports, recreation, and concerts. The park is a mere few minutes from Downtown Quebec City.

Quebec City

There is much to see and do in Quebec City. Old Quebec is the only walled city in Canada and the U.S. First time visitors will be enthralled by the European ambience in the older sections, with narrow, winding streets lined with small shops, restaurants, and galleries. There are 37 Canadian National Historic Sites in Quebec City.

Of course, if you speak French your pleasure will be enhanced. Quebecois French is different than modern French yet understandable to all French speakers. In addition, the Canadian French accent can be somewhat challenging, as an added benefit!

All Ages Welcome

This January make your way to Quebec City whether as a competitor or spectator at the World Winter Masters Games, or for the Winter Carnival!