You may remember the chaos that surrounded the results of Masters World Championships in L'Aquila, Italy last year. You may have forgotten this, but the people involved and affected by the appalling organisation have not forgotten it. In fact, I would go so far to say that many of those athletes will never forget it. The deep lingering feeling in the pit of ones stomach when you are reminded about it, or someone mentions it will never fully heal.
The event has been described by commentators as anything from "a bit of a mess" to "an absolute bloody joke". I don't want to drag up all the details again, and going over old ground that can not be repaired will not help. But there is one small detail that has brightened my day today, and brightened Brett McCormack's day, but still leaving a weird sensation and a flat feeling deep inside.... and that is the arrival of this in New Zealand.... one gold medal.
This is both fantastic and terrible at the same time. Nobody can replace that moment when you cross the line, arms up, after just skating away from the main pack, and holding on alone for many km's to finish clearly the winner, and then being told you have, allegedly, "two more laps to go" (despite the fact that almost everyone knew that Brett had done the 19 laps required.) That moment was lost forever.
Brett targeted Masters Worlds 4 years out, in 2013. He knew he would turn 50 in 2017, and he contacted Sk8skool ONline 18 months before the event, fine tuning his preparations. He invested thousands of hours, and many dollars in to equipment, training and travel to Europe to Holland for training races to get sharp for the event which was int he middle of the New Zealand winter. So to have that "moment" taken away after working for it for 4 years, is unforgivable.
However, credit where credit is due. FIRS (World Skate) have, in some quiet way, admitted a mistake, and at least done something toward repairing the situation. This I applaud. 👍
Much of the credit for this strange turn of events has to go to Roger Boulcott (Skate New Zealand) for pursuing the case relentlessly, and to Bill Begg for highlighting the case (by making a lot of noise, which Bill is quite good at 😃 ) at Senior Worlds (Roller Games) in China at the end of last year. FIRS quietly delivered a gold medal to the New Zealand Federation and hey have in turn delivered it to Brett.
Here's Brett's instagram post recently.
“”Just leaving this here…
Many will know what this means.The mess of nearly 1 year ago has been resolved and the Gold medal sent! My 4 year plan to become Masters World Champion 50+ was closer to 5 years. Never give up on your dreams!! Thanks to Roger Boulcott, Gary Clark, Bill Begg and NZFRS for being in my corner and not giving up either!
Looking fwd to racing again in Holland wearing these stripes, quite fitting I think as the races there before the World Championships last year and the people I met made a lasting impression on me.Italy not so much…
I also need to thank my support crew; Sandra, Mark, Robert, Kyrstine, Gary and my coach for the 2 years before. (Sk8skool ONline, Sutton Atkins) “”
It's then you have to ask yourself, what do we value? A gold medal, or that "moment"?
My only hope is that Brett realises, he has the medal now, and he is a World Champion. He was the fastest over the required distance. He prepared the best by far. He executed the plan with clinical effect. He was first over the line after 42km. Brett McCormack is World Masters Champion.
You can read the original story about Brett here.
And the short summary of the "race event" here.
We're quite proud that this is the 9th medal for Sk8skool coaching, at Masters Championships. (Worlds and Euro's). And hopefully more in the future. We work with any level of skater, beginner, fitness skater or elite. We just want you to go faster.
Let's go faster,