The stage was filled with enthusiastic athletes and local sports enthusiasts for the EMG2023 Closing Ceremony, and not even a light summer rain could dampen the festive atmosphere.
Hosted by Kaj Kunnas, the evening unfolded with captivating Argentinean tango performances and inspiring speeches from notable figures like IMGA President Sergey Bubka and Perttu Pesä, the Event Director of the City of Tampere, among others.
“I finally did it and got my own silver medal,” exclaimed Pesä to rapturous applause from the crowd.
Reflecting on the remarkable journey, Pesä addressed the crowd, saying, “there’s always that day in every event when it’s time to say goodbye. EMG2023 has been a great sporting competition and a festival at the same time. I want to say thank you to all of you athletes and participants who created a great atmosphere in Tampere with your presence.”
Addressing athletes, friends, and colleagues, Bubka admitted, “I feel a bit sad when the days go by so fast at events, we just opened the event! I have followed your fantastic organisation of the competition events, the dedication of the athletes to sport and your amazing successes over the past two weeks. I sincerely hope that you have created everlasting friendships, promoted healthy lifestyles, and been culturally enriched by the setting that Tampere offers, which will sustain you for a long time to come, also for our future events. A big thank you to all of you.”
As the rain clouds dispersed, the sun’s rays painted a perfect summer evening at Laikunlava, and an outburst of joy ignited a collective dance as the DJ played DJ Ötzi’s legendary track, “Hey Baby.” Lunddance got the hundreds-strong crowd dancing wildly in Keskustori Park.
During the closing ceremony, Pesä and Bubka symbolically passed the IMGA flag to the next event organizer, Mayor Alessandro Rapinese of Como. Lake Como, Italy, will host the Open Masters Series in 2027.
From the 2027 Italian event onward, the European Masters Games will continue under the new name, “Open Masters Series.”