The Everyman’s Olympics

Sydney to host the World Masters Games

By: By Wendy Chung

The last World Masters Games took place four years ago in Edmonton, Canada. // © World Masters Games
The last World Masters Games took place four years ago in Edmonton, Canada.

For sports enthusiasts yearning to relive the spirit and excitement of last year’s Beijing Olympics, the World Masters Games promises an invigorating experience. Billed as "the world's largest multi-sport event," the Masters — which, like the Olympics, is held every four years — will take place in Sydney from Oct. 10 – 18. What separates this international event from the Olympics, however, is that you don’t have to be an elite athlete to participate — just a sports enthusiast. (Participants must also be between 25 and 35 years of age and register online at for a $220 fee.)

Participants will be able to vie for medals in events, such as archery, basketball, water polo and weight lifting and, best of all, compete in the same facilities that hosted the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The World Masters Games also includes various festivities and social events. With more than 25,000 participants from 100 countries expected to gather in Sydney for the Masters, clients will be able to meet others who share their interest for sports and friendly competition.

"The Games’ participants’ passion, unique backgrounds, ages and stories are what make this international event so special," said Margy Osmond, chair of the Sydney 2009 World Masters Organizing Committee.

After clients pay the $220 registration fee for a single event, additional events cost $55 each (supplementary fees for specific sports may apply). For those who prefer to catch the action from the sidelines, registration for non-competitors is $110. Some of the perks that come with registration are a commemorative sporting bag, access to athletic and social events, free public transportation and a Sydney discount booklet.

The official North American tour operator for the event, Goway is offering several packages to get clients excited about the upcoming event. The Main Games Package, for example, includes airfare from Los Angeles to Sydney, roundtrip airport transfers and hotel accommodations for 10 nights.

For clients who prefer the comforts of home, Goway also offers stays in one- or two- bedroom apartments for up to four people. Double occupancy in a one-bedroom apartment at the Quest Rosehill starts at $2,369 per person, while quadruple occupancy in a two-bedroom apartment starts at $2,469 per person for the Meriton Pitt Street.

Those hoping to stay closer to Sydney Olympic Park — where most of the sporting events take place — can book accommodations at the Ibis. Standard double and single occupancy starts at $2,489 and $3,409 respectively.

Travelers planning to extend their stay in Australia after the Masters can explore the island continent’s natural wonders and rich cultural history with Goway tours, too. The four-day Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef tour, starting at $539 per person, double occupancy, includes diving, snorkeling and a rainforest walk with aboriginal guides. Clients can also opt for the four-day Mountains and Wine package, which includes wine-tasting and the opportunity to see local wildlife, starting at $1,329.

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