The winter edition of the World Masters Games will be held in Quebec City this year, running from 31 January till 8 February 2015.
Visitors to the snow capital of the world will be able to enjoy nine competition-packed days, where approximately 1,500 athletes from around the world will test their skills in nine winter sports disciplines and 40 sports competitions: for a total of 2,000 separate sporting events on schedule. And that’s just the beginning!
For the duration of the Winter Masters Games the host city will be transformed into a winter sports carnival, with numerous attractions to keep everybody entertained.
What are the Winter World Masters Games?
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Winter World Masters Games is an offshoot of the World Masters Games, an international multi-sport event which, like the Olympics, is held once every four years.
The summer edition of the games have been held since 1985 in various countries around the world and have proven to be immensely popular with athletes of all ages and abilities. Unlike the Olympics, just about anybody can register and participate in the World Masters Games as long as they fulfil the minimum age criterion, which varies from 25 to 35 years and is dependent on the discipline.
In the wake of the success of the summer games, the Winter World Masters Games were organised for the first time in 2010, in Bled, Slovenia. This year’s edition in Quebec City will be the second Winter World Masters Games and the event will be part of the city’s Winter Carnival.
The delegations of athletes from various countries who will be participating in the event are set to converge on the city in the coming days. Among their ranks you will find ex-Olympians, retired professional athletes, as well as winter sports enthusiasts and amateurs.
We decided to compile a list of three notable contenders in this year’s edition and, although you won’t find actual sports betting associated with this event, these are the people we’d be ready to stake our money on:
1. Jean Bédard
Jean Bédard is a veteran cross country skier who has been involved in competitive sports for nearly 50 years. In the 2015 Winter World Masters Games, Jean Bédard will be participating in the biathlon alongside his son Marc-André, despite this being only his second year training in the discipline. Bédard claims he is not in the least discouraged by his younger and more experienced competitors and that he’s set his sights on the podium ever since he began training.
2. Marc-André Bédard
Marc-André is the second member of the Bédard family of champions who is participating in this year’s Winter World Masters Games. The 29-year-old biathlete is also an Olympic-level athlete; he was part of the Canadian biathlon team in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games that were held in Vancouver.
Marc-André was Canadian sprint champion from 2004 till 2006 and makes regular appearances on the podium in various North American and European races. Although he takes sports, especially the biathlon, very seriously, in an interview with the Winter World Masters Games organisers Marc-André stated “I’m always at my best when I’m having fun”.
3. Lise Le Guellec
Lise Le Guellec is a fearsome competitor on skis. The professional trainer and biathlete started her journey in competitive sports when she was 15 years old, and has been competing regularly ever since. After a foray into competitive bodybuilding, Lise Le Guellec returned to the biathlon when she started coaching young people in the discipline. She even coached her sons in the sports, one of whom was a three-time competitor at the Winter Olympics in the Canadian team.
Lise participates regularly in biathlon competitions, which she claims help give her a better understanding of how to work with the athletes she coaches. Taking part in the Winter World Masters Games has rekindled her competitive spirit and although she’s not after a medal, she said she wants to push herself to give her very best during the tournament.
The Winter World Masters Games will provide plenty of entertainment for the people who will be in Québec City next week. Whether they intend to participate or support the athletes, the UNESCO world heritage-listed city promises a unique blend of sporting activity and winter frolics during the Québec Winter Carnival, the biggest winter carnival in the world, which will be running concurrently with the Winter World Masters Games.