What the 2020-21 Alpine skiing world Cup season will look like in the era of coronavirus – this was one of the main topics discussed at the FIS spring online meeting. According to numerous unofficial sources, all sorts of options are being considered, including a very limited world Cup calendar that will allow skiers to be closer to home.
The scenarios discussed during the meeting include the following options: a traditional world Cup calendar with the usual start of the season competitions in North America, a world Cup calendar only in European resorts (which will minimize travel for most athletes), and finally, a scenario in which not only European stages will remain on the calendar, but only European athletes will participate. The latter scenario is highly undesirable, but it cannot be ruled out yet if, for example, foreigners cannot come to Europe due to restrictions related to coronavirus.
The meeting also discussed protocols to reduce contact between athletes, including the selection and isolation of skiers between races. In particular, to minimize movement and reduce the number of contacts, men’s and women’s competitions can be held at the same resorts, the site reports skiracing.com.
The FIS hopes that the world Cup will be held as usual, but an emergency plan is being developed in case long trips become impossible or unsafe due to the coronavirus. This is especially true for flights between continents.
A final decision will not be made this week or in the near future. The FIS has identified a number of important dates in the summer and fall when the necessary decisions should be made. It should be noted that July 1 is the deadline for signing contracts with the organizers of competitions at the resorts. If the organizing committees are not able to sign contracts by that day, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to move the races to a later date and include them in the calendar. FIS representatives have already contacted local organizing committees to determine how ready they are for the new season given the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Alpine skiing world Cup, the traditional men’s competition in beaver Creek (Colorado, USA), men’s and women’s races in lake Louis (Canada), and women’s technical events in Killington (Virginia, USA) are usually held at the beginning of the season.