Last week International Ski Federation (FIS) announced the cancellation of all 2020 North American races of the Alpine World Cup Tour.
In a statement FIS announced that “After discussions among FIS, the National Ski Associations and the Local Organizing Committees in Canada and the USA together with their stakeholders, all parties have together decided that the Alpine World Cup tours will not travel to North America in late November for their traditional two-weeks of competitions”.
This decision comes amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic that also brought an early end to the 2019/2020 Alpine World Cup season. The safety of the athletes, reducing travel, and the difficulties staging races with Covid-19 protocols in place were cited as the main factors in the decision.
For the women, the schedule change eliminates the Killington, VT (USA) giant slalom (GS) and slalom (S) events November 28th and 29th and the speed races (Downhill and Super-G) in Lake Louise (CAN) December 1st through 6th.
On the men’s side, the decision eliminates the Lake Louise (CAN) speed races the weekend of November 25th through the 29th and all races at Vail & Beaver Creek (CO) previously scheduled to begin December 1st.
In an Instagram post US superstar Mikaela Shiffrin alluded to cancelations stating “I think by now everyone probably knows that Killington is my favorite race. It’s such a pleasure to be able to race in the U.S., and race in the east coast with those east coast fans screaming. It’s also such a joy to see so many young ski racers in our nation there to cheer us all on. It’s been amazing, and I am going to really miss it this year”.
No doubt disappointing for Canadian and American racers and fans alike.
According to FIS, the adapted calendars involve rescheduling the Alpine North American competitions by adding races to planned events at European venues.
In December, the French resort Val d’Isere will take on an additional weekend for the men. The planned giant slalom races will be moved up one weekend to the 5th-6th of December making room for an added downhill and super-G the following weekend (12th and 13th).
The women’s tour will add a downhill to its traditional weekend in St. Moritz (SUI) on December 5th and 6th to compensate for the Lake Louise race. Additionally, Courchevel (FRA) will host a two-race technical event later in the month.
In a related schedule change (and on a more positive note), FIS announced in August that the opening races of the 2020/21 Alpine World Cup season will kick off a week earlier than planned, pushing out of the gates October 17th and 18th in Soelden, (AUT). The races will feature the women’s Giant Slalom (GS) on Saturday and the men’s GS on Sunday.
Graphic by Peter Bachand
Categories: FIS Alpine World Cup