Ruhpolding is a small village south-east of Munich and not far west of Salzburg with several hotels and many guest houses, all within easy walking distance of the town center with its restaurants and stores.
A shiny new building by the big-hill outrun (below) provides offices, coffee shop, changing room and bathrooms. With its low profile, the building does not obstruct the view of the mountains beyond.
A number of IMC competitors arrived a few days early with the hope of getting some practice jumping, only to find that Mother Nature had closed the hills. We have all missed skiing because of too little snow, or too much snow, or too much wind or rain, but this natural problem was new for most of us -- avalanches. The entire jump venue was closed because of the avalanche danger. Indeed one morning many of us standing by the outun were treated to the impressive sight and the fearsome roar of a huge mass of gray snow sliding coming down a steep chute on a mountain on the opposite side of the valley. The pictue at the right shows that mountain with several slide-paths.
When the avalanche danger had passed, the hill crew quickly prepared the 40 and 65 meter jumps and those two hills were opened on Monday afternoon for free training. However a light rain dampened the enthusiasm so the hills were not crowded.
Competition began on Wednesday morning with the IMC's main event, the middle sized hill (K-65). The field of about 150 entrants was split into two parts with the oldest skiers, those 45 and older, competing first. Skiers in Tuesday's fourth training group had missed their training and were permitted one jump on Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock, before the regular trial round.
Advance publicity had boasted that Andreas Goldberger and Matti Nykaenen would both be participating in IMC-2009. Nykaenen had competed a year earlier in Finland and indeed he did travel to Ruhpolding, but he arrived injured. It seems that Matti had injured his ribs in a go-carting accident so in the end, he did not ski but he graciously agreed to award the medals to the 65 meter winners. In the picture below-left, he waits with Klaus Güther for the awards to begin. The medals were brought forward by two girls dressed in traditional costumes. The photo below-right shows the girls against the backdrop of the village of Ruhpolding painted on the back wall of the stage in the Kurhaus.
This time the competition went quickly, leaving time for training on the K-90 before the Nordic Combined team sprint late in the afternoon. Nine teams (four skiers per team) lined up to race relay legs of 1 km (the oldest team member - 60 or older), then 2 km (age 50+), followed by two legs of 3 km each (for the 40+ and 30+ skiers). At the finish, the team from Finland led teams from Norway and Russia. [ See complete results ]
Gold (center): Finland - Aatto Lamminpää, Arsi Sjögren, Antti Koivuranta, Markku Jantunen;
Silver (left): Norway - Geir Rune Lislegård, Oyvind Villesvik, Jan Skevik, Arnold Lund;
Bronze (rt): Russia - Valeriy Chuykin, Vladimir Ulyanov, Fidel Terentiev, Konstantin Grigoryev.
Saturday dawned with a centimeter of new snow on the ground and more falling. With the new snow, and very soft older snow underneath on the outruns of the jumps, officials delayed, then finally cancelled the scheduled team jumping competition. However, when a team competition is cancelled, we sometimes like to think about who might have won.
The individual Nordic Combined cross country races went off as scheduled in the Biathlon stadium with slow tracks due to the new snow. [ See N.C. results ]
In the Kurhaus just before the banquet, representatives were assembled for a short extra meeting of the IMC Committee. Klaus Günther (GER) announced his attention to step down after five years as Chairman, and a proposal was presented in which James Lambert (GBR) would be the new Chairman with an executive committee of Lambert, Günther and sitting vice chairman Torbjorn Haugen (NOR). After intense negotiations, Günther and Haugen agreed to continue serving, and the slate was accepted by acclamation.
The skiing was over, and the business was finished, so it was time for fellowship, for honors, and for goodbyes, during the festive banquet of the twentieth IMC. The special efforts of Chairman Klaus Günther paid off as both IMC founders and all of the past chairmen were present.
The seeds of IMC were planted in 1989 by Guttorm Bakke of Norway and Earle Murphy of USA. As they tell the story, they were enjoying a beer after a day of jumping and said "Why couldn't we have a world championship for Masters?" Then they had another beer and said "Lets do it!" And so they did, arranging for the first IMC to be held in Lake Placid, USA with a hundred or more Norwegians, about twenty Old Boys from the host country, and one Canadian.
Here are the five IMC chairmen, including James Lambert (GBR) who was chosen just before the banquet as the fifth chairman in the twenty years of IMC.
Co-founder Earle Murphy brought with him a number of commemorative T-shirts which he designed, showing the two IMC founders, each caught on camera in a memorable ski jumping flight. These were given to officials, organizers and special friends.
Throughout the banquet, a small brass band, about ten musicians in traditional Bavarian dress, sat patiently on a bandstand by the stage. They played an occasional tune and also accompanied a group of dancers, the boys in their lederhosen slapping their shoes, and the girls whirling their circular skirts. When the awards and speeches were finally over, the stage lights were turned down, and the band played for dancing by IMC participants. The dancing was led by Earle Murphy, who put aside his crutch and showed that he could still boogie at age 81.
The end of an IMC banquet is alway bitter-sweet with long goodbyes with the knowledge that we won't be seeing our friends for another year.
You can find many pictures from IMC-XX at the web site of Masters jumping fan Manuela Steinki.
[This listing is wide, use your horizontal slider (if necessary) to view all five columns.]
40 meter (K) 65 meter (K) 90 meter (K) Nordic Combined Cl 10 1. RICHARD DIESS AUT RICHARD DIESS AUT RICHARD DIESS AUT 75-79 2. JOHN EIDEM NOR Cl 9 1. AARNE KUISMA FIN MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ FIN MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ FIN IVAR SOLBERG NOR 70-74 2. KURT BRAUSSE GER DON WEST USA ANATOLY CHISTYAKOV RUS 3. IVAR SOLBERG* NOR TEUVO KOLJONEN FIN Cl. 8 1. SVEIN HUSBY NOR ANTTI KOKKONEN FIN ANTTI KOKKONEN FIN ARNOLD LUND NOR 65-69 2. KURT ELIMÄÄ SWE PER BIRGER LOMEIM NOR 3. ARNOLD LUND NOR KÅRE HOLMEN NOR Cl. 7 1. ROLF MARKUSSEN NOR ROLF MARKUSSEN NOR VLADIMIR KALININ RUS REIDAR FINANGER NOR 60-64 2. THOMAS RICCHIO USA SERGEY LENINSKIY RUS OLE ELDAR KJOLEN NOR VALERIY CHUYKIN RUS 3. REIDAR FINANGER* NOR VLADIMIR KALININ RUS AATTO LAMMINPÄÄ FIN AKE SALONIEMI SWE Cl. 6 1. VALERII SAVIN UKR ARSI SJÖGREN FIN ARSI SJÖGREN FIN ARSI SJÖGREN FIN 55-59 2. RUNE TULLUAN NOR TORBJORN HAUGEN NOR BJÖRN KNUTSEN NOR JAN OVE LOMHEIM NOR 3. JOHANNES ORSCHEL GER STEIN JOHANNESEN NOR MIKHAIL PIROZHKOV RUS JAN SKEVIK NOR Cl. 5 1. ALF-TORE HAUG NOR VEIJO STRANDEN FIN VEIJO STRANDEN FIN BJÖRN RÖYSETH NOR 50-54 2. BJÖRN ROYSETH NOR RAUNO KOMULAINEN FIN RAUNO KOMULAINEN FIN RAUNO KOMULAINEN FIN 3. JURGEN STIELOW GER JOZEF HYSEK SVK MARKUS MALVALEHTO FIN JURY MIKHAILOV RUS Cl. 4 1. KALEVI KANTOLA FIN G-RUNE LISLEGAARD NOR G-RUNE LISLEGAARD NOR G-RUNE LISLEGAARD NOR 45-49 2. PER OLE VIK NOR JACK GASIENICA USA JACK GASIENICA USA MARKKU JANTUNEN FIN 3. SEPPO MARKKANEN FIN SEPPO MARKKANEN FIN FRODE HERMO NOR KARI PESONEN FIN Cl. 3 1. PETER SLATNER SLO PASI HUTTUNEN FIN OLE ANDR. SKATVEDT NOR OYVIND VILLESVIK NOR 40-44 2. PIETRO NILSSON SWE SEPPO KINNUNEN FIN SEPPO KINNUNEN FIN FIDEL TERENTIEV RUS 3. FIDEL TERENTIEV RUS OYVIND VILLESVIK NOR PASI HUTTUNEN FIN SEPPO KINNUNEN FIN Cl. 2 1. KLAUS SÖLKNER AUT ANDREAS GOLDBERGER AUT ANDREAS GOLDBERGER AUT ANDREAS GOLDBERGER AUT 35-39 2. STEFAN SCHWAB GER BRUNO REUTELER SWI BRUNO REUTELER SWI ALEXANDER DIESS AUT 3. THOMAS HILLBRAND AUT RUDOLF JERABEK CZE ALEXANDER DIESS AUT PETER BAUER GER Cl. 1 1. MAGNUS VAHT EST KNUT BJÖRNAR STRÖM NOR ANDREAS WIDHÖLZL AUT ANTTI KOIVURANTA FIN 30-34 2. JUHA PULKKI FIN GIDO WINDISCH GER KNUT BJÖRNAR STRÖM NOR ALAN VAHT EST 3. SVEN HOHLFELD GER JOAKIM HELLAND NOR GIDO WINDISCH GER JUHA PULKKI FIN * Martti an Aatto Lamminpää were not eligible for 40 m. medals. They competed for NC points only.
That's all for IMC 2009. At the closing banquet, retiring IMC President Klaus Günther called on
the Old Boys of the ski jumping world to gather again in January of 2010 in Bled, Slovenia for
IMC-XXI which will be held in conjunction with the first World Winter Masters Games.
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