Beijing Olympic skiing test events wiped out by Covid-19

PARIS (AFP) – All skiing test events this season for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have been cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions, the international ski federation (FIS) said yesterday.

The events include the freestyle, snowboard and freeski world championships scheduled for February 18-28 at the Olympic site at Yanqinq.

Two ski-jumping events, the Nordic combined world cup, a women’s Alpine world cup downhill and super-G and the cross country world cup were also cancelled. All were scheduled between late January and mid-March.

“The current second wave of Covid-19 has resulted in very strong travel restrictions that made it virtually impossible to stage international competitions,” said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper on the organisation’s website.

FIS said it is looking for a new venue for all the cancelled events. It said it still hoped to stage as many Olympic test events as possible.

“Testing of the venues is a requirement to ensure the venues in 2022 will be of the highest possible standard and in the safest environment,” said FIS.

It said it hoped to re-schedule test events “on different levels” at later dates, or stage national championships with “only Chinese athletes”.

Mauro Caviezel of Switzerland skies down the World Cup downhill course in Kitzbuehel, Austria during training. PHOTO: AP