Plans to hold the Freestyle Skiing, Freeskiing and Snowboarding World Championships in Calgary next month fell through.
Due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, border closures and international travel, the International Ski Federation (FIS), together with Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard, has decided not to go ahead. . The major event was to take place in a health bubble from February 24 to March 14.
“Over the past few weeks, our teams have had extensive meetings with all the major stakeholders, including FIS, and with our generous corporate partners and government partners at all levels. Finally, after looking at all aspects of the competition, we just gave up on the plan to host the World Championships, ”said Peter Judge, CEO of Freestyle Canada, in a statement released Wednesday morning.
For the two sports concerned, already affected by the cancellation of several competitions on the World Cup calendar, this announcement is another tile. In recent weeks, athletes and coaches seemed to take for granted that Alberta Public Health would give the green light to the organization of competitions.
“While we are deeply disappointed, the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff remains and will always be our priority,” continued Judge. COVID-19 continues to evolve around the world and we believe this decision is in the best interests of the larger sports community right now. ”
The Mikaël Kingsbury, Maxence Parrot, Laurie Blouin and Sébastien Toutant had planned to participate in this important meeting in anticipation of the Beijing Olympic Games in February 2022. Originally, the World Championships were to take place in the Chinese capital. They were canceled in early December, like several other test events, due to the pandemic.
The bad news comes the day after the Canadian men’s slopestyle team, including Parrot and Toutant, were quarantined ahead of the start of the Snowboard World Cup in Laax, Switzerland. Two members of the delegation contracted COVID-19. Blouin was able to perform on Wednesday, finishing fourth in qualifying.
“We wanted to give fans watching the competition at home the opportunity to get away from the current climate,” said Dustin Heise, general manager of Snowboard Canada, in the statement. But at this point, with the situation changing rapidly, the best thing for our athletes and the sport community to do is to put the project on hold. ”
The two federations now hope to attract World Cup events to Winsport Olympic Park in Calgary in December 2021.
“While this is disappointing, we will now focus on implementing these efforts to bring the championships back to Canada next season to help our athletes fully prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympics,” he said. Heise concluded.