Bobsley and skeletal athletes from North America can run many miles in the upcoming Olympic year and there will be no close races to help them.
The International Skeleton and Downhill Skating Federation has released its tentative schedule for next season’s World Cup on Thursday, with no races in the US or Canada on the list. This could be a major loss for American and Canadian skaters, who may have to spend three months or more in Europe and Asia to compete in the Beijing Olympics to be held in February.
Canadian figure skater Alicia Risling tweeted: “That can’t be true … there are no World Cup races in North America and only one week for Christmas?” So North American will be on the road (again) for 4 consecutive months !!!
It looks as though nothing has been decided yet – and there is still uncertainty about when and where the World Cup season will begin.
The IBSF plans to hold the first World Cup on the weekend of 19-21 November. Many skaters were expecting it to be on the new Beijing track being built for the Olympics next year, although a World Cup slide show will be held later this week. . At least before the Olympics, China should have had at least a week of training, as most skaters in the world have not even seen the track.
Currently only seven IBSF World Championships have been confirmed, four in Germany, one in Latvia, one in Switzerland and one in Austria.
This may suggest that there is an option to add the eighth at the end of the schedule as there will be no World Cup final after the final on 16 January in St Moritz, Switzerland. The Olympic Games begin on February 4.
The initial IBSF schedule stipulates that the race will take place in Innsbruck, Austria from 26th November to 28th. Koenigsse, Germany 3rd-5th December; Winterberg, Germany 10.-12. December; Ellenberg, 17.-19. December Sigulda, Latvia 31 December – January. 2; Winterberg Return to 7.-9. January; Then St. Moritz 14.-16. January.
The Luge schedule published last month has two stops in North America: the World Championships to be held on November 27–28 at Whistler, Canada, and December 4–5 in Lake Placid, New York.
There was no World Cup final in North America last season due to concerns about the coronovirus epidemic and international travel. Lake Placid was to host the World Skating and Skating Championships, and Whistler was to host the World Skating Championships. Both were brought to Europe.