Alpine Canada drops planned GS from World Cup schedule


Alpine Canada drops planned GS from World Cup scheduleBlaming skyrocketing event staging costs and technical race-course challenges, Alpine Canada Alpine has agreed with the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) not to proceed with efforts to stage a men’s giant slalom event at the CIBC Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup this November.

“This was a difficult decision because it likely means Canada’s most successful male technical skier ever – Thomas Grandi – will not get to race a World Cup in his home country,” said Alpine Canada Alpin President, Ken Read. “Despite the best efforts put forth by the Lake Louise resort, the World Cup Organizing Committee, and Alpine Canada Alpin, we are unable to make a financially viable and technically challenging giant slalom race happen.”

Mr. Read said his organization will continue to explore options for technical events but none are likely in the immediate future.

The Men’s GS was tentatively placed on the World Cup Calendar at FIS meetings in Europe in May – marking the first time Canada was scheduled to host a technical World Cup since the men’s World Cup slalom held in Stoneham (QC) in 1993. After additional discussion, Alpine Canada Alpin and FIS officials have mutually agreed to drop the supplementary race.

Despite increasing costs for the second consecutive year, the famed Lake Louise Ski resort in the Canadian Rocky Mountains expects to open the World Cup downhill season with five internationally televised races. Last season, the CIBC Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup attracted an audience of more than 110 million viewers in more than 70 countries.

“It is increasingly tougher financially because we have to raise the millions of dollars required to stage the opening speed World Cups of the season while actively pursuing new and increased sponsorships so that Canada can remain a host country to the world’s best alpine skiers,” said Mr. Read.

“Our intent remains to find the funding to host our existing World Cups.

This goal is especially important during an Olympic year where we hope to be represented by 22 athletes who will gain valuable experience in preparation for 2010.”

The World Cup downhill racing season kickstarts in Lake Louise with men’s super G and downhill events set for the last weekend of November 2005.

The best women in the world will take to the famed Banff National Park slopes the following week with downhills and a super G scheduled the first week of December.

Lake Louise’s ski resort has recently invested more than $1 million, adding environmentally progressive technology to its snowmaking systems and increasing efficiency in the use of water by at least 35 per percent.

Alpine Canada Alpin expects athletes from at least 14 countries will race at Lake Louise, including Canada’s own highly talented and young speed delegation.

Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) is the governing body for ski racing in Canada.

The organization represents 27,000 Canadians participating in the sport of ski racing as coaches, officials, and athletes, including the elite racers of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and the Canadian Disabled Alpine Ski Team.

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