Nordiq Canada Revises 2021 Competition Plans for Canadian Athletes Due to Ongoing Pandemic
CANMORE, Alta.—The long-term health and safety of athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers is Nordiq Canada’s top priority.
Using this statement as the beacon to guide the organization through the ongoing global pandemic, Nordiq Canada, in consultation with its members (Divisions) and national sport partners, has made the following decisions that will impact the 2020-21 competition plan for Canada’s high-performance cross-country skiers:
All FIS-sanctioned domestic cross-country ski events scheduled across Canada for the 2020-21 season are cancelled (Divisions will continue to determine the relevance and possibility of hosting scaled-down local events that meet regional health and safety guidelines);
Canadian World Championship Trials scheduled for Whistler, B.C. (January 7-10) are cancelled;
2021 Canadian Ski Championships (March 14-20) planned at the Nakkertok Nordic Ski Centre in the Ottawa-Gatineau region are cancelled;
2021 World Para Snow Sport Championships scheduled for February 7-20 in Lillehammer, Norway have been postponed to January 2022;
“We realize high-performance athletes live and breathe to race and do not want to be left behind their competition. These decisions are not easy, and we do not take them lightly. The domestic calendar decision was made after consultations with key stakeholders and assessment of the current sport-related restrictions that are in place across the country, along with the requirements for hosting such large participation events safely,” said Kate Boyd, high-performance director, Nordiq Canada.
“COVID-19 is the most challenging competitor we have faced as a sport organization which is obviously forcing alterations to our plans on a daily basis. After weighing all of the risks and opportunities for athletes throughout our high-performance community with our partners at Sport Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, while also following the direction provided by Canada’s Sport Medicine Advisory Council, we want our community at large to “Do Local” this year – train at home, and compete in local races if it is deemed safe to do so by government and health officials – in an effort to do our part to help stop the spread of the virus while keeping our sport, and Canada going.”
Nordiq Canada Remains Hopeful of Sending Teams to Targeted International Races this winter
In an effort to continue to provide international race opportunities for top Canadian athletes, and for the country to continue to improve on the FIS Nations Ranking List that is critical for future World Cup and Olympic quota spots, Nordiq Canada remains hopeful of sending competitive teams to World Cup and World Junior/U23/Senior Championship events this winter.
The organization has evaluated events that Canada has the best, and safest, opportunities to achieve the points and rankings needed to secure Canada the most opportunities/starts to compete at the 2022 Olympic Games, while also ensuring the program’s long-term success.
In an effort to maximize Canada’s point potential, and maintaining or improve on, the country’s Nation rankings, Canada plans to attend the following races, providing if it is safe to do so:
16-17 – WC Ulricehamn, SWE
23-24 – WC Lahti, FIN
30-31 – WC Falun, SWE
6-13 – FIS Nordic Junior/U23 Cross-Country World Ski Championships, Vuokatti, FIN
20-21 – WC Nove Mesto, CZE
23–7 – FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, Oberstdorf, GER
12-14 – WC Oslo, NOR
“While we believe it is important to provide competitive race opportunities for our athletes who are ready to perform, this will not come at all costs,” said Boyd, who added strict and robust protocols will be in place, including a bubble concept while traveling. “Working with our medical advisors, the high-performance team will continue to assess the pandemic and potential risks to our team, and program. If we determine it is not safe to travel and race internationally, we will be prepared to cancel this portion of the season.”
In the absence of trials races, Nordiq Canada will evaluate the fairest method to select the most competitive Canadian teams. Amended criteria are likely to focus on the 2019-20 FIS points list from period 8 and proven international performances, to allow for a fair and transparent selection of the best Canadian athletes for all international racing. The details of how this ranking list will be used will be communicated via a revised selection criteria which will be announced by Nordiq Canada by December 7.
Nordiq Canada will continue to work with its Divisions, clubs, and coaches across the country to outline creative and innovative ways to help athletes to continue training safely while at home this season to continue their development.
Nordiq Canada also has resources to support the entire cross-country skiing community in staying healthy at https://covid.nordiqcanada.ca
Nordiq Canada is the governing body of para-nordic and cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Swix and Lanctôt Sports– along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, Nordiq Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and World champions. For more information on Nordiq Canada, please visit us at www.nordiqcanada.ca.