The FIS Alpine World Cup tour will not travel to North America in the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 complications. Early season men’s and women’s races at Killington, Vt., Lake Louise, AB, and Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo., have all been cancelled.
“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 calendar,” said FIS secretary general Sarah Lewis.
“The organizers and national ski associations provided us with excellent health and safety plans to stage the events and were fully prepared to host the races,” said Peter Gerdol, FIS women’s chief race director. “But ultimately, the logistics involved with the travel from Europe and between the two countries [the U.S. and Canada], and the quarantines involved, made it too unpredictable to ensure that athletes could participate in the competitions.”
FIS is still aiming to carry out a full World Cup program, and the November and December North American events have been preliminarily rescheduled at European resorts Val d’Isere and Courchevel, France, and St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Lewis applauded the work of the FIS’ North American stakeholders, saying, “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 working toward the common goal of carrying out a full and successful season.”
The revised schedule will be ratified by the FIS Council Oct. 3, and the FIS has committed to returning to its North American locations in the 2021-22 season.
“It’s unfortunate that we can’t bring thousands of fans together for another World Cup race this season, but we fully support the FIS’ decision and know it’s best for the health and well-being of our community, guests, and employees given the current health crisis,” said Killington president and GM Mike Solimano. “We will continue to focus on the upcoming 2020-21 winter season and welcoming back fans of ski racing in 2021 for the fifth Killington Cup.”
Mike Imhof, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, offered a similar sentiment. “North America’s skiing community has tremendous spirit and resolve, and while we are saddened that, this year, we will not be able to gather in person to witness the iconic feats of athleticism that are the hallmark of the legendary Xfinity Birds of Prey, it is clear this decision is in the best interest of the health and safety of the World Cup athletes, coaches, technicians, volunteers, media, staff, all of the World Cup fans, and the World Cup tour itself. We look forward to welcoming the world back to Beaver Creek in December 2021 and thank all of our partners for their hard work, thoughtful discussion, and unity throughout this process.”