Frequently Asked Questions
To make your experience a bit smoother we put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you through your process.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing and may be subject to a $50.00 cancellation fee for a full 2023 Olympiad and IML TTR registration, and up to $25.00 for a partial 2023 Olympiad and IML TTR registration. You must contact the American Volkssport Association Inc (AVA) no later than January 1, 2023, to cancel your registration for the 2023 IVV Olympiad and IML TTR. Cancellations made prior to January 1, 2023 will be eligible for refunds. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after January 1, 2023. However, if the 2023 Olympiad and IML TTR event is cancelled by the American Volkssport Association Inc, a full refund will be extended to all registrants minus any processing fees charged by third party vendors.
All requests for cancellations and refunds should be mailed to:
American Volkssport Association Inc
Attn: Erin Grosso
1008 S Alamo St
San Antonio, TX 78210
Please direct all inquiries to Erin Grosso, AVA Finance Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is the Olympiad important?
Co-chair Holly Pelking: I have attended 7 Olympiads around the world. It is not like a convention. People from around the world gather together to walk, talk, swim and/or bike. It’s a big deal this year, because it’s never been in our country before, and it’s never been in North America. We have looked at this for many years, and felt we had the volunteers and the committee to make it work. We won the bid, and it’s exciting that all the countries are coming to us. This is also the first time that we’ve had the IVV Olympiad and IML events back-to-back. There has never been this much going on at once.
Co-chair Susan Medlin: two years from now, it will be in Finland, where it will be much more expensive then. Also, some people asked if it’s the same routes. No, the Olympiad has new routes every single day.
What's included in the cost of an Olympiad Pass?
- All events
- Registration kit bag & goodies
- Olympiad T-shirt
- Olympiad Village VIP Access
- Parade of Flags & Opening Ceremony
Why only the one price
There is a lot to see and do at the first-ever North American Olympiad, and we want everyone to have the full Olympiad experience! That’s why we’re asking everyone to sign up for the full 4-day festival. While we hope you’ll choose to participate in many or most of the festival events, you’re of course welcome to venture off to explore on your own for a bit as well!
Can we register a tour group directly with you?
Registration is fairly simple on the Olympiad website. We prefer you have your customers register on their own.
What will take place at the La Quinta Wyndham Hotel?
Packet Pickup, registration, start & finish of all walks
Where exactly is the start and finish of the walks?
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk, 303 Blum St, San Antonio TX 78205
All walks will start and end in their ballroom – except on SAT Feb 25 when walkers are bused from the hotel to either Mission Espada (22 km) or a southern trailhead (42 km) for the half-marathon or marathon events.
Will packet pickup be available each day?
Will OSB Directions be Available at Registration for the YREs?
The Operations Center may be able to help you get directions for any YRE that is an OSB, and tell you where to go, but you must get yourself to the start of the walks. What’s great about OSB, is you can start anywhere on the route. Register online and in advance of the Olympiad, if you know what you want to do.
What is special about the Downtown Margarita and Taco Trail Walk - what is included in the rate of 18 USD?
Margarita and Taco Trail Walk – San Antonio is designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Our culinary scenes are bursting with savory flavors and frosty cold beverages! This trail will introduce you to some of the finest frosty Margaritas and scrumptious Taco places in San Antonio. Drop by participating restaurants, breweries, and shops on the trail, get your book stamped and receive free samples, coupons, and other goodies. All participants who fill up their passport book with stamps will receive a special award. The cost of this event is $18.00. The Margarita and Taco Trail walk is not an IVV sanctioned event. Participants will receive a passport book they can stamp at participating restaurants and shops throughout the week. Upon completion, the book can be redeemed for a special award. (Redemption location TBD.)
What is the IVV/IML Friendship Celebration, is it a party with food? Where will it be held?
IVV/IML Friendship Celebration- The common purpose of the IVV, IML and AVA is to promote good health and foster international friendships and goodwill. Join us for a fun filled international celebration with music, food, entertainment, and friendly people from all over the world! Break out the dancing shoes and let the party begin! Cost of admission includes light hors d’oeuvres, drink ticket and entertainment. The cost of this event is $50.00. The location will be in the downtown area, close to La Quinta Hotel.
Are tickets still available for the for the special ticketed events?
The Margarita and Taco Trail Walk is sold out.
The IVV/IML Friendship Celebration has a few tickets available.
How will Volunteers be contacted? Do you still need volunteers?
Volunteers are needed for registration, local information to answer questions, finish, set up and tear down, carrying flags in the parade, everything. Susan Pennike will contact volunteers by email, with their schedule based on times and days you asked for. She will provide information on what you need, who to report to, where to go, where to park, etc. If you can volunteer email@example.com
What time does Parade of Nations start and VIP event?
Staging for the parade starts on Sunday February 19 is at 12noon, at King William Park, after the community walk. Parade starts at 1pm. The parade will walk for about 20 minutes or so, to reach the Arneson Theater at La Villita, where mariachis will greet everyone. Heads of delegation and flag bearers will go to the stage. Ceremony starts about 1:45pm. Everyone invited to join in parade. You can march behind the country you are from.
It’s fun to be in the parade, and see all the people and hear the different languages. It’s the opening ceremony, in which you are walking behind your flag. We will have a marching band, to lead us from the park to the ceremony.
Who is invited to the VIP event?
For the opening ceremony, it is open to everyone, including the public. For Thursday February 23, the Friendship Festival is a separate reception that is ticketed.
How do you get to the King William Park? Is there a bus.
Just walk to the park.. it’s less than a mile to the park. The Sunday Morning community walk in a bonus walk that is free for all Olympiad passholders. Everyone else will pay $3, which includes a t-shirt. If you are a passholder, and want a t-shirt, it’s $3.
Explain the Ceremony
The Official Ceremony is the start of the Olympiad, taking place at the Arneson Theater. The parade will arrive, and flags of the various countries will be mounted on the stage. We will have a lighting of the torch, the National Anthem, a welcome from local dignitaries, international and national dignitaries It is not a long ceremony. There will be 2 cultural events: blessing of the event from Indigenous tribe, then the mariachis will perform. Afterwards, a special concert by Elvis will entertain everyone. This event is open to the public. We want a full house at the Arneson.
Will we be given US flags?
No, bring your own flags to walk behind the flag bearers. We also encourage you to bring small flags as many volkswalkers at Olympiads trade flags with other nations. Buy the small little inexpensive flags, and trade. We would like to show off many flags. Bring pins too, of American Flags… international people love to trade during the walk.
Explain the Olympiad Village
The parade and Opening Ceremony will introduce you to La Villita, site of the Olympiad Village. Passholders will have access to it. Food and drink vendors are on hand, and there is live entertainment daily. Sit and talk with people who are from around the world. It is not far from La Quinta and other host hotels. All walks start at hotel, and end at the Village with stamping stations. The Village is central to your Olympiad experience with a large tent and wooden tables with hundreds of people from different countries. 10Kers wait for the 21Kers and marathoners… It’s an experience!
Will there be first aid?
Every check point will have a first aid kit, and the volunteers will have a list of hospitals if there is an emergency. Checkpoint volunteers will be trained on how to handle emergencies. We will have a command center, so there’s a triage type of call center on who to call. Volkssporters will always be connected to someone if there is an emergency. There will also be a first-aid station at the finish at the Olympiad Village in La Villita.
I registered for the 10K but would like to change to the 21K. Can I do that?
If you want to change your walk, it is fine. You can do whatever length you want. We asked on your registration form so we can plan and be sure there are enough resources available.
If are walking the IML 21K or 42K on Saturday February 25, there is an extra $10.fee All IVV Olympiad walks start at the hotel. You can pay your bus fee at registration, or you can contact Marian at AVA to pay for your bus in advance.
Are animals allowed on the bus to get to 21K and 42K?
How many 21Ks do I need for Olympiad and how many for IML?
To receive IML credit during the Olympiad you must complete all 4 days of 21K. During the Texas Trail Roundup, you must complete the 2 days for the second day IML stamp. The only exception is if you are over 70 years old.
Is there a group I can walk with daily?
Yes, each day, Monday thru Sunday at 9am, “Buffy” our group leader, will lead the 10K walk for those who want to walk with others.
Explain the Golden Boot Award:
For the Marathon on Saturday, February 25th, there is a Golden Boot challenge that is open to any military contingent or unit including active, veterans, ROTC, Guard or JROTC. The group with the largest number of people who complete the marathon will win. The first winner was the Belgium German Friendship team. Last year, it was the 12 Viking Strollers from Belgium. Participants do not have to be from the same unit.
Can we have our military members IML team up with Team AVA participants?
Yes… make sure everyone has a military affiliation. And let Susan Medlin know before you start: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do get Bikes to Rent?
We have 60 rental bikes with helmets at Blue Star Bikes about 1 mile away. You can get directions and a trail map at Registration. You can walk to Blue Star, and begin right away, as the trails are right there. The bike store will open at 8:30am. You must return your bike that same day, but they will put your name on it, so you can get the same bike. We are almost at the limit of bikes registrations, so let us know if you are bringing your own bike, so we can open up a rental spot for someone else.
Where can I store my bike, if I bring my own?
You can store your personal bike in your room. There will not be a place at registration to do this.
How does the swim work?
There will be 2 buses constantly going and coming for free transportation to the natatorium. Departures are 45 minutes apart from hotel to the swim. Locker rooms are available, just bring your own lock. You must also bring your own towel. The only restrictions are that women must have one piece bathing suits, no 2-piece. For men and women, ano cut-offs or t-shirts are allowed in the pool. We have a number of lanes available, so there is no need to feel hurried. And no crowding. There are two swims events, one each day, so each event will have its own separate stamp for each day’s swim. There are bleachers if you want to bring a backpack if you don’t want a locker. Caps are not required. We must be out by 3pm so the last swimmers must go in the pool by 2:30pm.
Do we have to buy tickets for the rodeo beforehand or can we decide on the day?
You can purchases tickets the day of the rodeo. However, there is a possibility it could sell out, depending on the main attraction. It will also be more difficult to find seats together the longer you wait. Tickets for the Fair section of the rodeo are easily available any day.
How do I get to Rodeo and back to La Quinta?
We suggest you take the bus early to see the Fairgrounds and Stock Show. Then by 7pm, be in the arena for the professional rodeo, followed by a major concert afterward. NOTE: If you are riding the bus, you have to be on the last bus, at 10pm. Be aware you cannot spend all night there, so may have to miss some of the concert. Or you can rideshare. You can get tickets and see the schedule: sarodeo.com
How can I get around San Antonio? Is bus transportation included in registration?
We will have a desk with VIA (the San Antonio transportation company) in the lobby: prices are $1.30 for one trip, $2.75 ride all day, or $12 seven day pass, plus discount for seniors.
For volunteers, we will provide help/transportation for volunteers to get to their assigned positions.
For the 21K and 42K on Sat Feb 25, buses will take you to the start. There is an extra cost of $10.
Buses are free for the swim at the Nautitorium.
What are my transportation options from the airport?
There are multiple options for getting to your destination from the airport.
Rental Cars – There are several companies to choose from when renting a car at SAT. Car rental counters are located in the lobby of the Consolidated Car Rental Facility. Take the elevator or escalator to the Mezzanine Level in Terminal B and cross the Sky Bridge.
Taxi Cabs – Taxi cabs are available at the outer commercial curbside at Terminal A. For assistance, please see an Airport Ground Transportation employee (wearing a red shirt).
Ride Share apps – Uber, Lyft, and Wingz are all approved for operations at SAT.
VIA Metropolitan Transit – VIA is San Antonio’s public transportation agency offering service throughout the city including service within the downtown area. To find more information on how to get downtown from the airport using VIA, visit https://flysanantonio.com/…/grou…/public-transportation/.
For more information regarding ground transportation visit https://flysanantonio.com/.
Where can I park if I am not staying at La Quinta?
Behind La Quinta, there is an overpass where you can park for $3/day Monday-Thursday and $5/day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You cannot leave your car overnight.
Will there be delegates at the AVA meeting?
Because there is no voting, there is no need to register delegates. This will be a business meeting. We want a lot of people to attend as there will be international dignitaries. The meeting will be Fridaty Jan 24 at 1:30pm.
Will there be a single source document of the schedule available?
It was in Checkpoint, and is currently on the website.
Regarding the weather – should I pack for winter or beach?
Yes… it’s February. You can check the weather online about 7 days out, to know what to pack. Please know that it can be very windy in San Antonio. The normal temperature range is a low of 48-50f, 9 c, up to a high of mid 60f 19c.
Do I need boots and poles?
These are urban walks, so you do not need hiking boots, unless traveling on your own to do other walks. You can use walking sticks, you but don’t need them.
How will you communicate with people?
We will have an operations center for all information. A voice phone number will be on all directions, if need to call. There will also be a texting service in which you can sign up via QR code for daily texts about weather, or any changes, or headliners at Village. It will also be used for volunteers in a separate list. If there is an emergency, like severe weather – flash floods, or thunderstorm – we will send text messages as warnings
Is the hotel wi-fi available for everyone?
What is the Covid level and mask requirements in San Antonio?
While infection rates are low, with community gatherings of any kind possible exposure to illnesses is inevitable (flu, COVID, cold, etc.)
Participants should mask as they see fit – but it is not mandated it. If you feel sick or feverish, please mask up and/or avoid contact with others.