ITALY PROPOSES 2021 ALPINE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TO BE POSTPONED
The organizing committee of the alpine skiing World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo has requested the International Ski Federation (FIS) to postpone next year’s championships. In their proposal, the races, scheduled for February 2021, will be moved to March 2022. The organizers, representatives of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Italian Winter Sports Federation, and local governments, want to make sure the event is held properly and won’t be affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Last Monday, the 25th of May, the FIS had a digital meeting to decide on a great number of things. Most important was the calendar for the upcoming season. All planned World Cup races are scheduled but there is a big two week hiatus in February as the World Championships are now uncertain to be held on the scheduled date.
Because of COVID-19, this year’s World Cup Finals could not be held in Cortina. This was meant as a test event for the 2021 World Championships. Due to the cancellation, the organizing committee has no test event to rely on. Also, the organizers still have lots of work to do as the preparations were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, the request of postponement. Moreover, they want the World Championships to be a serious test event for the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympic Games of which the alpine events will be held on the same slopes.
A possible move to 2022 is food for thought for the FIS, as it will not only leave a big gap in next season’s calendar but the event will also compete with the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games which are scheduled barely a month before. The FIS has given itself time until July 1st to consider the request.
World Cup Calendar
The rest of next year’s alpine ski World Cup Calendar had no surprises. It’s scheduled as expected and can be found here. As usual, the season will kick-off in October on the glacier in Sölden, Austria, and will end in March with the big season finale, this year held in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
There are some interesting new races in there, that we don’t see too often. Mid-November, there is a Team Event in Lech, Austria. Also, there is a Downhill race for women in Yanqing, China late February. This will be the alpine skiing venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics. So this race will count as a test event.
Last week, there were rumors about the Wengen Worldcup Downhill race – the legendary Lauberhorn Rennen. Because of disagreements between the local organizing committee and the Swiss Ski Federation over TV rights.
The federation even asked the FIS to remove the race from the ’21 – ’22 and ’22 – ’23 calendars. After that threat, someone came with a big bag of money. Problem solved. The Wengen races are included in the preliminary calendars for the next two seasons. As expected.
Besides all scheduling decisions, there were also some small rule changes. These mainly affect parallel events. The FIS acted and changed the format after some athletes spoke up about the unfairness of the courses. You will find a full list of the decisions here.