The nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation, the local organizers of the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup, has released a statement that it is too early to tell 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.
Ideas for changing or rescheduling the FIS Ski World Cup racing season, including the Xfinity Birds of Prey, have abounded in the media and in ski racing fan circles, but organizers say there have been no decisions made at this time, and none are expected until late summer or early autumn.
On request of the FIS Discipline Technical Committees, a Task Force specific to each event will be installed to undertake on-going 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.
The Vail Valley Foundation, which serves as the local organizing committee for the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup, said they would communicate any new information to partners, volunteers, and the public as soon as any decisions are made.
Ranked as the number one overall stop by the athletes and coaches who participate, the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup in Beaver Creek has become legendary in the ski world.
Beaver Creek Mountain is home to the formidable Birds of Prey racecourse, challenging an international roster of top athletes for one week of racing featuring Men’s alpine super G, downhill and giant slalom competitions. The event is organized by the non-profit Vail Valley Foundation, in close partnership with the FIS, United States Ski and Snowboard, Vail Resorts, the Beaver Creek Resort Company, Beaver Creek Resort, Xfinity, and TIAA Bank.