The first alpine skiing World Cup super-G of the season was cancelled Sunday as snow and high temperatures wrecked havoc in Lake Louise, Alta.
The world’s top speed skiers were left idling in the Canadian Rockies for much of the weekend with bad weather also forcing the cancellation of Friday’s downhill.
Organizers did manage to get off a downhill on Saturday, won by Austria’s Matthias Mayer, before snowfall returned overnight forcing another cancellation.
“Due to last night’s snowfall, the current weather conditions on the course and the forecast, the jury together with the OC [organizing committee] have decided to cancel today’s [super-G],” said the International Ski Federation (FIS).
WATCH | Mayer wins Saturday’s Lake Louise downhill:
The men now head to Beaver Creek, Colorado next week for a packed schedule of races that includes the cancelled Canadian downhill.
The Birds of Prey layout will stage super-Gs on Thursday and Friday with downhills going Saturday and Sunday.
The women will move into the Canadian resort next week for their first speed races with a downhill double-header scheduled for Friday and Saturday, wrapping up with a super-G on Sunday.
The Canadian squad will be led by veteran skier Marie-Michèle Gagnon, who is coming off a stellar speed campaign. The 32-year-old from Lac-Etchemin, Que., ended a five-year podium drought last January when she won super-G bronze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and went on to place sixth at worlds in super-G.
Remme returns to World Cup circuit
Gagnon, who ranked 11th in the world in super-G last season and 16th in downhill, had solid workouts through the summer and is fresh off a training cycle in Copper Mountain in Colorado. “She should come into [Lake Louise] fit and ready,” McNichol said.
Roni Remme of Collingwood, Ont., returns to the slopes after a year away from the World Cup circuit that included racing at the University of Utah and earning her degree in bio medical engineering.
Remme reached her first World Cup podium in February 2019 with a silver medal performance in alpine combined at Crans-Montana, Switzerland, and was fifth at worlds in the same event in Åre, Sweden.
Later that year, the 25-year-old placed 36th at Lake Louise in downhill and super-G.
WATCH | Osborne-Paradis takes farewell run at Lake Louise:
Remme competed last weekend in Levi, Finland but didn’t qualifying for the second run in slalom on consecutive days.
Further disruptions to the calendar would create a headache for the FIS, with skiers desperate to get in races and secure coveted spots for the Beijing Olympics in February.
Teams will be hoping for better conditions in Beaver Creek to get something out of what has so far been a challenging trip to North America where skiers, staff and spectators have dealt with strict COVID-19 protocols.
There is also growing worry about the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The variant has surfaced in Italy where the men have several races scheduled in December.
Omicron is potentially more contagious than previous variants, although it is unclear whether it causes more or less severe COVID-19 compared to other strains.
The FIS did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment if it would tighten COVID-19 protocols when the World Cup swings back to Europe.