26 April 2017
Sergey Bubka, IOC Executive Board member and newly-elected International Masters Games Association Board member, attended 2017 edition of Summer International Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, gaining unique experience about the biggest global sport event.
The Games which took place between 23rd and 30th of April, featured more than 25 000 participants, aged 35+ and professionally equipped, coming to Auckland at their own expense to compete in 28 sports. They enter the stadium at the opening ceremony grouped by their sports, not their nations, make the event more cosmopolitical, but also more autonomous.
Sergey Bubka said he was delighted by atmosphere and general concept of Masters Games, adding that he, as IMGA Board member, will make his best to promote the event and help it grow.
Bubka said, ‘I travel a lot all over the world throughout the year, but this trip was unique indeed. New Zealand is fantastic country with nice nature and its own charisma. But what was even more delightful is atmosphere at the venues of 2017 World Masters Games.
I had an honour to meet people who make sport and compete at the age of 90+, feeling healthy, joyful and optimistic. 101 years old sprinter Man Kaur from India is true role model not only for sport lovers but also for every person in the world due to wide media coverage.
I’ve seen thousands of people who come to the Games with their families with most of them compete together. World Masters Games make sport a family matter combining Olympic values of clean fair competitions with global values of healthy active life.
The International Olympic Committee and its president Thomas Bach recognized the role of IMG in global promotion of sport signing the Memorandum of cooperation between the IOC and IMGA.
Management of the event like this is huge job and huge responsibility. The organization of World Masters Games in Auckland was perfect, so I would like to give credit to Kai Holm, former IOC member and NOC of Denmark president, who takes charge of the whole event’.
Bubka added that International Masters Games organization should further develop and be promoted, including also continental Masters Games, in order to involve more participants into the venture. Bubka said, ‘I hope next Summer Games in Kasai, Japan, which are to be held in 2021, several months after 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will bring even more success. As far as I know, the organizers hope to involve 50 000 participants into 2021 Masters Games, which could make absolute record in the history of sport events.