FIS Alpine World Cup To Remain in Europe
The 2020-21 FIS Alpine World Cup men’s and women’s calendars will adopt a different structure due to impacts from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
After extended discussions among FIS, the national ski associations and the local organizing committees in Canada and the USA, together with their stakeholders, all parties have come to the joint decision that the Alpine Skiing World Cup tour will remain in Europe in late November. Traditionally, the tour comes to North America during this time of year.
For the women, this schedule shift impacts the HomeLight Killington Cup in Killington, Vt. (USA) giant slalom and slalom events on Nov. 28-29 and the speed week in Lake Louise, Alberta (CAN) on Dec. 1-6. For the men, this impacts the speed weekend in Lake Louise, Nov. 25-29 and both speed and tech events at the Xfinity Birds of Prey in Beaver Creek, Colo. (USA) Dec. 1-6. The FIS Alpine World Cup will return to these sites for the 2021-22 season.
The objective of FIS is to carry out a full World Cup competition program, protecting the health and welfare of all participants to the best extent possible. The temporary realignment of the FIS Alpine World Cup Calendar in 2020-21 caters to this goal by focusing on athlete safety, reducing travel, and providing competitors with a detailed competition calendar. All parties jointly agreed to make this decision early to aid in developing the adjusted calendars during the next month before the FIS Technical Committee Meetings in late September.
Decisions for all other FIS World Cup events will be made independently and based on an assessment of each unique set of circumstances, including the risks and travel requirements related to each event and host country, as well as time needed between competitions to accommodate for COVID-19 protocols.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the Canadian Snowsports Association, and the Killington, Lake Louise and Vail Valley Foundation local organizing committees would like to express their gratitude to everyone for their dedication, planning, and collaboration in recent months. Attention to detail and thoughtfulness provided a pathway to hold their events this season, but all agreed to make this very difficult, but necessary decision, in order to prioritize the best interest of the alpine world cup athletes, coaches, technicians, volunteers, media, staff, all of the world cup fans and the Alpine World Cup tour, as a whole. The extensive preparation work provides a roadmap to move forward with planning other potential North American domestic events. Although the North American alpine venues and fans will be missed this season, all parties look forward to the Alpine World Cup’s return to the USA and Canada for the 2021-22 season.
The adapted calendars, to be approved in late September, involve the rescheduling of the alpine North American competitions at European sites.
These will include events in December, with Val d’Isere (FRA) adding two events for the men. The planned giant slalom races will be moved up one weekend to Dec. 5-6, making room for an added downhill and super-G on Dec. 12-13.
The women’s tour will add a downhill to its traditional weekend in St. Moritz (SUI) on Dec. 5-7. Additionally, Courchevel (FRA) will host a two-race technical weekend in December.
“The North American races are always a very special two weeks for the entire FIS World Cup tour and we are very disappointed that we could not find a way to have them on this year’s Alpine calendar,” said FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis. “But if there is a silver lining, it is seeing how all of our stakeholders involved with the FIS World Cup are working together. The willingness of several National Ski Associations, Organizers and resorts to step up, alter their schedules and plans, shows that we truly are a united ski family that is working toward the common goal of carrying out a full and successful season. The engagement and commitment shown by the North American organizers and National Associations throughout the past months continues with both USA and Canada already turning to preparations for their central roles with FIS Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboard events that take place later in the season.”
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season will kick off in Soelden (AUT) on Oct. 17-18 for the traditional giant slaloms on the Rettenbach Glacier. The next stop on the tour will be the debut of host resort Lech/Zürs (AUT) on Nov. 14-15, which will feature a men’s and a women’s parallel race.
The revised calendars with the latest adaptations will be approved following the FIS Technical Meetings from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 for ratification by the FIS Council on Oct. 3, and will be published on the FIS website at that time.
About U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, based in Park City, Utah. Tracing its roots directly back to 1905, the organization represents nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2020, competing in seven teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined and ski jumping. In addition to the elite teams, U.S. Ski & Snowboard also provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders across the USA, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success and the value of team. For more information, visit www.usskiandsnowboard.org.