Swiss Organizers Plan For World Cup Ski Season Without Fans
FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 file photo, United States' Mikaela Shiffrin smiles on the podium after winning the alpine ski, women's World Cup super-G, in Bansko, Bulgaria. A year that turned Mikaela Shiffrins world upside-down has left the American standout wondering how much time she has left in ski racing. The double Olympic and three-time overall World Cup champion is questioning how long all the traveling will still be worth it. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta, File)
BERN, Switzerland: No fans, no race ceremonies and no promotional villages are planned at World Cup ski events in Switzerland this season.
The Swiss ski federation said Friday it is working with local organizers to have competitions without the public as coronavirus cases peak in the Alpine nation ahead of the winter sports season.
Crowds of about 30,000 typically attend Switzerlands signature races on back-to-back Saturdays in January the mens giant slalom in Adelboden and the mens downhill in Wengen.
The 2020-21 season also includes womens race weekends in St. Moritz and Crans-Montana, the World Cup finals week for men and women in Lenzerheide, and a ski jumping event in Engelberg.
Swiss-Ski said no grandstands will be built at those venues, nor fan villages at the races and in resort centers. Some invited guests could attend in restricted zones separated from athletes, coaches and officials.
The federation said its officials and race organizers will stay in contact with public authorities and could modify plans as the pandemic develops in Switzerland.
The World Cup ski season starts this weekend without fans for mens and womens giant slalom races in Slden, Austria.
No races will be held in the United States and Canada to limit travel and quarantine restrictions for teams. The only scheduled races outside Europe are women’s speed events in China in February to test a 2022 Beijing Olympic course in Yanqing.
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