Message from the 2023 IVV Olympiad Committee

Message from the 2023 IVV Olympiad Committee

IVV Olympiad Message to All AVA Members & Friends

December 28, 2022

Dear AVA Members and Friends,

We’re now in the midst of Holiday Season and 2023 is fast approaching.  It’s my hope that you are all safe and in good health, and enjoying the season.

A few weeks ago, a group of dedicated volunteers and staff of America’s Walking Club met in San Antonio for three days on our upcoming IVV Olympiad and IML Texas Trail Roundup events, 19-26 Feb 2023. Here’s where we stand with just under two months to go:  

  • There are 686 people now pre-registered for the Olympiad, the IML, or both 
  • 450+ Americans, 60 Canadians and about 170 from the rest of the world – a total of 22 Nations. 
  • We have participants from 38 US states in all 10 AVA regions, and we’re not done!  
  • We are still offering passes – either IVV, IML or the “combo” at $170.00 for the full week. Additionally, we are now taking requests for single-day passes, at $30/day per person.

These two international festivals back-to-back represent a once-in-a-generation cultural experience that we are bringing to the United States and North America.  For Americans who have not had the opportunity to travel to previous Olympiads – it will be right here at home where you can drive or fly. For our friends from the rest of the world, it’s an opportunity for us to show them some uniquely American culture & traditions – such as the world-renowned San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. 

We are lining up some first-class venues and entertainment for both festivals.  Our “Olympic Village” will be at La Villita Historic Arts Village – in the heart of downtown.  Here, we’ll bring the world to the people of San Antonio, and our Pass holders will have exclusive access to special spaces both indoors and outside – weather dependent.  We’ll have a real volkssporting Starthalle – like you may remember from Germany, or even club walks in the past, and plenty of seating and refreshments for gathering socially and relaxing after your morning walk.

Our trails are more urban in character, but you will encounter a variety of green spaces along the way – city parks and the extensive river/creek trail network are integrated into our routes.  We’re going to show you neighborhoods all around the city, with the cooperation of the Chamber of Commerce and cultural partners in different neighborhoods. Along the way you’ll experience historic buildings and expressive murals everywhere – reflecting the rich history and culture here.  Along with 5/10K distances, there are also longer walks – several different 21km trails and two different marathon (42km) routes will be offered, including the historic “Spanish missions” trail, with UNESCO World Heritage sites.  Also on tap – three days of bike rides and two days of swimming at an amazing swim center – with transportation provided from the hotel to get you to the pool.  With the City still opening back up after the pandemic, there has been a flurry of new / deferred construction.  Our trail masters are working hard to adapt to changing conditions and keep all the events safe and enjoyable!

Speaking of the work involved, it is as you can imagine, extensive.  We will need a couple hundred volunteers in the end to make this thing happen.  And we have a great start with attendees signing-up to help with everything from trail marking to book stamping to carrying a sign in the Parade of Flags.  However; volunteers are still needed, and your help is greatly appreciated. Two areas we are specifically looking for are (1) volunteers with specific language skills that could help international attendees (2) club trailmasters that are familiar with AVA standard marking techniques to come in and assist the trail teams.  Our fantastic Volunteer Coordinator, Susan Pinneke (famous from the 2011 AVA Convention in Iowa) is the person you’ll talk to – just use that “volunteer here” button on the Olympiad website. 

If you are unable to attend with us in February 2023, we ask you for your financial support.  The facilities we’ve described, in a major American city with the need for security and post-pandemic inflation affecting everything – means we are looking for every dollar we can find.  We are leveraging all our existing and new partners and sponsors, and having some success with those efforts. These festivals are not part of the normal AVA operating budget, and we want to show the international IVV and IML communities – and, all of you, the best we have to offer.  Most of us will never do this again, so we are “all in.”  

Your assistance is greatly appreciated.  

Our Thanks,

The 2023 IVV Olympiad Committee   

1008 South Alamo Street

San Antonio, Texas  78210