Edmonton takes stage with World Masters Games

In quick succession, four major international masters meets are taking place this summer. The first is the World Masters Games in Edmonton, Alberta, where the track meet starts today and runs through July 31. Results are promised here on the official site. In two weeks, it’s the USATF masters nationals in Hawaii, and the qualifying meet for the IAAF Helsinki world worlds exhibition events, and then, in late August, the WMA world meet in San Sebastian. Is it any wonder that only 800 are expected to show for Hawaii? Lots going on.

In Edmonton — site of the 2001 IAAF World Championships — the local media is covering the meet mainly as an economic boom (valued at $31 million Canadian) from 21,000 athletes and their families. Sports tourism, they call it.
But the official Web site has begun churning out news releases.
The first one is s sample:
Two new world records and one Canadian record set at World Masters Games.
Edmonton, Alberta – Two of the oldest competitors at the 2005 Edmonton World Masters games have broken world and Canadian records. The competition’s oldest competitor, Jaring Timmerman of Winnipeg, broke the Canadian record in the 100 meter freestyle at the age of 96 years. Jaring came in with a time of 2.31.44.
Ninety-five year old Margo Bates of Australia broke the world record in the 100 meter freestyle by just under 45 seconds with a time of 3.22.94 beating the previous record of 4.06.70. Margo won gold in the 1998 World Masters games in Portland, Oregon and had her first swim lesson was at the age of 87. Sarah MacDonald, 45, from the Victoria Masters club also broke the world record in the 100 meter freestyle with a time of 1.01.39. The previous record was 1.02.11.
Event Delays
Due to weather, baseball is underway with delayed schedules. The Slow pitch games are delayed and will start at 2 pm with a limited schedule as only four fields are available for use due to the rain. Both rowing and beach volleyball have been postponed due to wind. The rowing competition will start tomorrow, July 24, in the morning.
Athletes are encouraged to check at the venues for new schedules.

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July 24, 2005

One Response

  1. Thomas Fahey - July 31, 2005

    Comments on World Games: The meet itself was very well run. The officiating was professional and the volunteers were extremely helpful.
    A big problem was communication between the central Games organization and Athletics (track and field). I had no idea where I was to compete or declare. This information should have been provided when I checked in. They had a very good procedure, but it would have been nice if they were more clear about it.
    The Canadian immigration acted like the Gestapo. They were going to deny my son entrance to Canada because of a basic DUI conviction 6 years ago (blood alcohol 0.11). Also, the custom agent dealing with us was extremely rude and obnoxious. While I’m not discounting the seriousness of a DUI, it hardly puts him in the same category as Osama. I had to pay a $200 fee to get him a temporary visa. They basically extorted the money from me.
    I never would have attended the meet had I known the Canadian immigration officials were going to treat my family so rudely. The Canadian government can kiss my ass. I liked the people very much (they talked like the characters in Fargo).

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