FIS’ online spring committee meetings commenced on Sunday, and among a bevy of hot topics, the federation is beginning to consider what the 2020-21 World Cup season might look like in the coronavirus era. According to multiple sources with knowledge of the meetings, all options are on the table, including a significantly more limited alpine World Cup calendar that keeps European racers closer to home. 

Scenarios that have been discussed include all of the following: a typical World Cup calendar with regular stops in North America as planned, a Europe-only World Cup calendar that may also be consolidated to minimize travel, and finally a scenario that would not only limit the calendar to European sites but would also limit participation to only European racers. The latter scenario is highly undesirable but would not be off the table if, for instance, conditions prevented foreign travel into Europe. 

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Discussions have also centered around isolation protocols that may be exercised, including screening and quarantining athletes between races. It’s been considered that the men’s and women’s circuits could travel in tandem to ease operating complications and limit exposure.

The FIS is hoping to proceed as normal, but these contingency plans are being formulated in the event that the virus makes extensive travel impossible or unsafe, particularly between continents. 

No final decision is expected this week — or anytime soon. The FIS has identified a number of critical dates throughout the summer and fall that will precipitate decisions needing to be made. Notably on the calendar is a targeted date of July 1 to make a decision, along with local organizers. If organizers are not able to commit by that day, it would be difficult for those events to move forward on the calendar, according to sources. Race directors have already been in contact with those organizers to determine their current state of preparedness. 

The FIS alpine World Cup typically features an early North American swing that includes traditional events in Beaver Creek, Colo., for men, Lake Louise, Alberta, for men’s and women’s speed, and Killinton, Vt., for women’s tech.

11 COMMENTS

  1. One scenario is W.C. only open to European races?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! If there ever was any doubt how Euro-centric the F.I.S. is, there it is in black & white. I would hope the non-Euro counties would sue the F.I.S. into bankruptcy if that happens. Unreal.

    • Considering Covid cases are still increasing in the USA, it’s obvious there needs to be a contingency for the likelihood that American athletes will not be allowed to travel. It’s irrelevant whether it’s in to Europe, NZ, or Chile.

    • You and me, both. I don’t see them saying, “Let’s leave out the Italians, their Covid situation has been atrocious”. As if. If they’re going to go down that road, it’s going to be Alice Robinson skiing by herself in New Zealand. The US has a bunch of good skiers, and I’m especially excited to see how Tommy Ford and Breezy Johnson do, but if they don’t let Mikaela ski I’m gonna lose my shit.

  2. *Meant to say: open only to European *racers.* If only Europeans get to compete, how can it be called a World Cup?!

    • America calls baseball and football champs the “world champs” even though the leagues are only American teams.

      • I know baseball is big in a lot of places besides the US, but are you talking about American football? I honestly didn’t think there were leagues internationally for that.

  3. A WC without Americans won’t fly. If the pandemic doesn’t subside by “game time,” the simple solution is to make sure our National Team athletes are in Europe for the 14-day quarantine period prior to any events. It might mean spending more time in Europe for the season – which would be fine.

    • “A World Cup without Americans won’t fly”? I’m sure you meant that a World Cup without the rest of the world won’t fly.

  4. Maybe I can understand not travelling outside of Europe. But excluding non-European athletes from competition in Europe? What they should do is require all competing athletes to be in Europe 15 days prior to the first competition. Then test all competing athletes 48 hrs before the first race. Test periodically after that. If you leave Europe for some reason, the 15 day requirement goes back into effect.

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