This week, the Vail Valley Foundation (VVF), organizer of the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup, stated that it is too early to determine the possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the event, which is currently scheduled to take place Dec. 4-6 in Beaver Creek.
“We are working closely with the FIS, U.S. Ski and Snowboard, Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort Company and many others to take a look at all possible options to host our races this season, but it is too early to tell what effects the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the World Cup season,” said Sarah Franke, Vice President of Operations and Marketing for the Vail Valley Foundation.
“The safety and well-being of our athletes, fans, staff, volunteers, media, and everyone involved in this spectacular athletic event each year are paramount,” Franke said. “With that in mind, we are doing our due diligence with our partners, and looking at all options, including the continuation of the event as planned,” Franke said.
The event as planned includes a weeklong celebration of the sport of ski racing, welcoming winter into the Rocky Mountains, culminating with three days of top-tier racing from the world’s best men’s ski racers in super G, downhill, and giant slalom racing.
In early May, Ski Racing Media reported that the FIS is considering several contingency plans, including one that would keep the alpine World Cup in Europe for the entire 2020-21 season. As we reported at that time, no decisions have been made, and we do not a expect an announcement for several weeks or months.
The VVF went on to say, on request of the FIS Discipline Technical Committees, a task force specific to each event will be installed to undertake an ongoing monitoring of Covid-19 relating matters that may arise leading up to each FIS World Cup Event and implement necessary actions.
The group per event will comprise the key stakeholders from the decision-making bodies and experts who can provide advice with one representative each from the National Ski Association organizing nation, the respective LOC, broadcast-commercial rights holder, FIS Race Director and Management, Medical Committee representative, Discipline Committee Chair and Council Member from the organizing nation.
Portions of this story came directly from the Vail Valley Foundation.