Too much snow sinks World Cup super-G in Canada

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A course worker sweeps the snow after the cancellation of the FIS World Cup Super-G ski race on November 28, 2021 in Lake Louise, Alta.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

The three-race World Cup weekend in Lake Louise was converted to a one-race weekend with the cancellation of Sunday’s men’s Super-G.

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Heavy, wet snow continued to cover Banff National Park and made it very difficult to prepare the course for the scheduled afternoon start.

Friday’s downhill was also canceled due to heavy snowfall. Saturday’s downhill, won by Austria’s Matthias Meyer, was the first of the 2021–22 season.

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“It was Mother Nature 2, Lake Louise World Cup 1 this weekend,” race president Brian Linham said on Sunday.

An additional 10 inches (25 cm) of snow was forecast for the national park as of Monday between 11 and 16 in (30 and 40), which had piled up over the past three days.

Snowcats started working on the course at 2 a.m. and workers were on it at 6 a.m. in an effort to get the race going on Sunday.

“We are a speed phenomenon,” Linum said. “There is a lot of snow moving right now. It doesn’t matter how many cats we had or volunteers, especially on some steep pitches where we have to use winch cables.”

The canceled downhill was added to the schedule for the next World Cup starting Friday in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Meanwhile, skiing’s world governing body said that of the 10 people involved in the race weekend who initially tested positive for COVID-19, nine were determined to have false positives and were required to be isolated and After retiring was not considered infected.

“After the FIS task force has determined that only one person with minimal secondary contact has tested positive, the tour will move on to its next stop at Vail/Beaver Creek,” the International Ski Federation said in a statement. “The person who tested positive will remain in Canada and complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine in accordance with local regulations.”

The men got a pair of trainings in Lake Louise earlier in the week, but a third were called off on Thursday.

Lake Louise traditionally opens the international men’s pace season and has been a regular Canadian stop on the circuit for nearly three decades.

Following its cancellation in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the host men’s team was excited to run on home ice again, especially as a second downhill was added to the Lake Louise program this year.

“It’s always tough when a race is cancelled,” said Jack Crawford, the top Canadian finisher in Saturday’s downhill, who came in 24th. “Going to try to put it behind us and go to Beaver Creek with a new mindset.”

The women arrive in Alberta for two downhills and a Super-G, with the first training run scheduled for Tuesday.

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