Late final month, John “J.D.” Downing of Bend, Ore., was elected president of the Globe Masters Cross-Nation Ski Association (WMA), putting him at the helm of the international organization that governs master skiers in the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Pointing out that master skiing is much a lot more than the large loppet occasions, Downing, who founded XC Oregon and has been concerned in worldwide cross-nation skiing for more than four decades, mentioned in a telephone interview that he wants to get more masters involved in racing, the two internationally and locally.
“In some capability I’ve been part of just about every kind of nordic ski occasion imaginable in excess of the past 41 years, and I actually believe the MWC [Masters World Cup] format is 1 of the most satisfying to be about,” Downing explained. “You get the wonderful vitality of international participation of the huge marathons, but with easier logistics and a much more intimate ski encounter out on the trails. I also really like the fact that skiers of any capacity can take pleasure in an yearly world championship with their peers, discovering all these great ski locations around the globe.”
As president of the WMA, Downing, 49, needs to minimize the logistics and organizational needs needed for attending and internet hosting a Masters World Cup, an yearly, competitive planet championship for skiers ages thirty and older, which attracts more than 1,000 athletes annually from across the globe.
FasterSkier: What attracted you to this place, and what do you hope to attain during your phrase?
“I have actually loved the past 11 years functioning with the WMA as the USA national director, and when it grew to become obvious that there wasn’t a long checklist of directors that had been ready or inclined to phase into the president footwear, taking on the extra accountability, it just created sense at this time for me,” Downing explained.
“Honestly, the biggest thing I hope to attain is having the WMA turn out to be much more of a staff effort with even the minimal administrative functions we have to complete each yr. I’ll have a total plate the next a number of MWC occasions top what ought to be increasingly bigger Group USA contingents, but I’m assured we’ll see multiple other directors and officers embrace various tasks inside the WMA, which is specifically the way a non-revenue worldwide organization led by volunteers need to perform.”
He extra that the association is already functioning on a number of new elements within the event design and style for Masters Planet Cups that will come into perform right after the 2016 MWC in Vuokatti, Finland, which could make the championships appeal to a wider group of master skiers.
“We would like to reduce the time commitment at the MWC for skiers, specifically younger masters. We also want to keep the occasion as useful to deal with as feasible for potential organizers, so there are some tips currently being worked on in that spot as effectively,” he said.
FS: What are some of the challenges dealing with the association, and what problems need to be addressed?
“The greatest situation by far is a gradual reduction in globally numbers of what I phone motivated masters,” Downing said. “The most significant ski occasions are usually performing extremely effectively, and the MWC numbers are holding steady. But we are seeing a clear decline in motivation and numbers of master skiers at the grassroots level close to the world. Skiers underneath the age of fifty five are notably tough to preserve ‘in the game.’ ”
He extra that some of the underlying concerns of this gradual decline are past the scope of the WMA, such as climate change.
“There are a lot of factors involved in this decline that the WMA can’t genuinely deal with. Yearly constant snow in ski areas around the world being 1st and foremost. But we do require to discover ways to encourage and interest far more adult skiers in the basic notion that there is far more to this sport than just taking component in one or two big loppets each and every 12 months.
“We’ve received an wonderful lineup of MWC occasions coming up, and I urge each skier above 30 to think about taking element in a long term Masters Globe Cup,” he extra. “Vuokatti in 2016, Klosters in 2017, Minneapolis in 2018, and then next fall, we hope to confirm Beitostølen, Norway, for 2019 MWC, which would keep the constructive momentum going.”
“We’ve got an incredible lineup of MWC events coming up, and I urge every skier more than thirty to contemplate taking part in a potential Masters Planet Cup.” — World Masters Association President J.D. Downing
The final time the MWC was in North America was in 2011 in Silver Star, British Columbia. In 2008, the MWC was in McCall, Idaho.
Additionally, most of the national masters associations host nationwide championships in varying places. In the U.S., that organization is American Cross Country Skiers (AXCS), which Downing also heads. This season, the 2016 National Masters Championships will be held at Royal Gorge in California.
Downing has been the U.S. national director given that 2004, and will carry on to lead the AXCS while becoming MWA president. He does not anticipate that the added responsibilities of the presidency to detract from his nationwide function.
“There are some useful economic rewards for the two AXCS and WMA in possessing me do the two jobs, specially with the MWC 2018 in Minneapolis coming up fast,” he said.
The WMA Legacy
On Sept. 25, Downing was elected president of the WMA during the the association’s yearly conference in Klosters, Switzerland. He takes above for Germany’s Thomas Heckmann, who served as WMA president considering that 2009, but stepped down this past spring because of company demands. WMA Technical Vice President Klaus Pleyer served as an interim president this spring and summer time until the election.
The Planet Masters Association consists of nationwide directors from every country that fields teams at the Masters Globe Cup. Every year, the WMA meets to figure out enterprise regarding master skiers, evaluation guidelines and regulations, and pick a host and destination for the following Masters Globe Cup championships, a lot like the annual FIS basic assembly.
The MWC is the most significant occasion of its variety for age-group skiers, and the bidding procedure to host the MWC is considerably like that of the standard FIS Nordic World Championships with possible host destinations submitting their bids to the WMA for review. WMA officials then pay a visit to the host destinations and vote on the alternatives.