This past April, New Zealand played host to the World Masters Games, an international sporting event held every four years. It’s an opportunity for masters athletes in 28 different sports to compete on an international level. Concept2’s Dick Dreissigacker and Judy Geer made the trip to New Zealand and took part in the rowing portion of the Games.
The rowing events drew nearly 1200 competitors, from at least 23 different countries, for a week of racing. Age categories ranged from the youngest masters at age 27 to several over 85! Dick and Judy teamed up with old friends and new acquaintances in a variety of boat classes, including eights, fours and quads. It was a busy week, with two or more races every day.
The racing was held on Lake Karapiro, home of New Zealand’s High Performance Center for Rowing. New Zealand national team boats could be seen launching and heading up the lake for training—carefully avoiding the many masters crews that were on the water all day long.
For Judy and Dick, the opportunity for head-to-head team boat racing was a real treat. It was also good to catch up with old friends—both former US teammates and rowing friends from around the globe. They also had a chance to tour the facilities at Concept2 New Zealand with Gary Reid, a long-time Concept2 reseller.
Sport offers a common bond that quickly ties people together. Regardless of nationality or political leaning, each competitor has done generally the same type and amount of training. They have all taken stroke after stroke on their erg or local body of water in search of perfect strokes and better fitness—so important as they age. The World Masters Games offers a training goal for masters athletes, and an opportunity to celebrate their long term commitment to the sport and everything it has contributed to their life.