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FIS Announces Earlier Start to 2020-21 Alpine World Cup Season

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
August, 6 2020
Tommy Ford Soelden
Tommy Ford in action during the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup men's giant slalom on October 27, 2019 in Soelden, Austria, as he stormed to a career-best venue result in fourth. (Hans Bezard - Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the International Ski Federation (FIS) officially announced that the World Cup opening races in Soelden, Austria will take place one week earlier, on Oct.17-18 rather than the originally planned October 24-25 dates. The women's giant slalom will be on Oct. 17, while the men's giant slalom will be on Oct. 18. 

The Austrian Ski Federation has noted they will move the races one week earlier to better separate the World Cup event and athletes from tourist crowds on what is traditionally a holiday weekend in Austria. They also hope it will help with accommodations. The federation said the races on the Rettenbach glacier will be held “without a large number of spectators.”

Two-time Olympic champion and Land Rover ambassador Mikaela Shiffrin, and 2019 Xfinity Birds of Prey World Cup victor Tommy Ford will headline the Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team at the event, along with teammates two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety, Olympian Ryan Cochran-Siegle, and seven-time National Champion Nina O'Brien, among others. 

The full World Cup schedule, which runs from October through March is still on the FIS website as originally planned, including usual stops in the U.S. and Canada in late November and early December, plus the February FIS Ski World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.