Dieter Heckmann - Honorary President of WMA
Actively involved in organizing the MWC events with the role of Honorary President of the Association, Dieter Heckmann is the engine that launched and brought up the Masters World Cup. He served as President of the World Masters Cross-Country Ski Association for 25 years.
Thoughts of Dieter Heckmann, Honorary President of The World Masters Cross-Country Ski Association (WMA) in regard to the development of the Masters Movement in XC-Skiing in the last 32 years
In 1982, when WMA became founded, one could not forecast whether the idea of Masters-Skiing will have a long-term chance.
Today, 30 years later, I can say that the targets of Bill Gairdner from Canada, the first WMA-President, have become fulfilled.
What have been the main targets?
- Each XC-skier who is older than 30 years shall get the option to participate at the yearly hosted Masters World Cup.
- Former top-athletes following their working life shall revive their XC skiing Activities.
- Every year a MWC shall be organised alternately between Scandinavia, Europe, North America/Russia.
- Women and men shall compete in 5-years-ageclasses, from 30 to 34 years and up to 85 and older.
- The MWC, i.e. the international Masters Movement shall contribute in regard to understanding among Nations.
- Even on national level the Masters movement shall become developed with the assistance of the WMA.
Today I may say that all targets from 1982 have been achieved.
Every year a Masters World Cup takes place for 10 days. Racers from all major but also minor Ski nations - 1100 till 1300 - are participating.
In addition many national ski federations organise already since years their own Masters Championships.
The special Rules of Competition of the WMA became sanctioned thru the FIS.
An Affiliation Agreement between WMA and FIS is the basis for a cooperation between both parties.
A competent Presidency under the leadership of the President, Thomas Heckmann, guarantees for long-term continuity.
There is still a high demand to host future MWCs'. In 2013 Asiago/Italy and in
2014 Pillerseetal/Austria will be the next Masters World Cups. For 2015 and 2016
Russia (Syktyvkar) and Finland are bidding.
Many new friendships between the masters’ skiers from all over the world are a wonderful proof of a successful understanding among nations.