Killington Cup, Birds of Prey Fall to COVID as World Cup Races to Remain in Europe This Season
U.S. Ski & Snowboard, along with the Canadian Ski Association, Killington and Beaver Creek Resorts, and the International Ski Federation have announced that the North American FIS Audi World Cup Alpine Ski Races will not be held this season.
“We take a lot of pride in hosting the FIS Ski World Cup at Killington and we’re disappointed that we won’t be able to host it this year. It’s a world-class event that brings the entire Killington community together every fall to celebrate the world’s fastest female ski racers,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “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. We will continue to focus on the upcoming 2020-2021 winter season and welcoming back fans of ski racing in 2021 for the fifth Killington Cup.”
The cancellation will impact the women's races at Killington, Vermont, Nov. 28-29, and Lake Louise, Canada, on Dec. 1-6. The men will see cancellations in Lake Louise, Nov. 25-29 and at Beaver Creek, Colo. Dec. 1-6.
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.
“The desire and motivation to hold these races as scheduled for all parties was strong,” said Markus Waldner, FIS men’s Chief Race Director. “The training set-up and races in USA and Canada are very much appreciated by the teams. But ultimately, the unique logistics and situation for the early season alpine races has current travel restrictions and corresponding quarantine regulations in both directions, which led to this joint decision.
These preliminarily include events in December, with Val d’Isere (FRA) taking on an additional weekend for the men. The planned giant slalom races will be moved up one weekend to 5th-6th December making room for an added downhill and super-G on 12th-13th December to replace one of the North American weekends.
The women’s tour will add a downhill to its traditional weekend in St. Moritz (SUI) on 5th-6th December. The Swiss resort has picked up a downhill as part of its race weekend to compensate for the Lake Louise race. 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 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, Organisers 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 engagement and commitment shown by the North American Organisers and National Associations in the past months are continuing with both USA and Canada already focusing on preparations for their key roles with FIS Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboard events that take place later in the season.”
Killington, POWDR, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard have already committed to bringing FIS Alpine World Cup racing back to Killington Resort for the 2021/22 Olympic Qualification season. The HomeLight Killington Cup is a festival of skiing for the fans and athletes, and over the last four years has become one of the top three events on the Women’s FIS World Cup tour. Killington looks forward to celebrating ski racing excellence, convening the international race community, and inspiring the next generation of ski racers November 27-28, 2021.