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Innsbruck to host winter World Masters Games

The Austrian city of Innsbruck will stage the winter World Masters Games multi-sport event in 2020, it has been announced.

Innsbruck will be the final city to be awarded hosting rights for the Games before a new initiative is introduced by the International Masters Games Association (IMGA), the global governing body for masters sport. After 2020, the Games will take place one year after the Olympic Games in the respective host city. The new strategy ties in with the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020 reform initiative.

Innsbruck-Tyrol was awarded hosting rights following positive talks with the IMGA. An exact date has yet to be confirmed for the Games, although the event is set to take place in January 2020.

“The World Winter Masters Games are the largest multi-sport event worldwide when measured by the number of athletes,” Georg Spazier, chief executive of Innsbruck-Tirol Sports, which will organise the Games, said. “The ongoing close collaboration with regional partners and the participation of many thousands of athletes in their ‘best’ years will have a positive effect on the region.”

Around 3,000 athletes are expected to compete in up to 12 sports at the 2020 Games, which will mark the third edition of the event. The inaugural edition took place in Bled, Slovenia in 2010, before Quebec in Canada played host in 2015.

Innsbruck has experience of staging similar events in the past, having hosted the winter Olympic Games in 1964 and 1976, and the first-ever edition of the winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012.