LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) — What was supposed to be a three-race World Cup weekend turned into a one-race weekend in Lake Louise with the cancellation of Sunday’s men’s super-G.
Heavy, wet snow continued to blanket Banff National Park and made it too hard to groom the course in time for its scheduled noon start.
Friday’s downhill also was canceled because of too much snow. Saturday’s downhill, won by Matthias Mayer of Austria, was the first of the 2021-22 season.
“It was Mother Nature 2, Lake Louise World Cup 1 this weekend,” race chairman Brian Lynam said Sunday.
An additional 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow was forecast for the national park by Monday on top of between 11 and 16 (30 and 40) that had piled up over the three previous days.
Snowcats began working the course at 2 a.m. and workers were on it 6 a.m. in an attempt to get the race in Sunday.
“We’re a speed event,” Lynam said. “It’s just too much snow to move. It wouldn’t matter how many cats we had or volunteers, especially on some of the steep pitches where we have to use winch cables.”
The canceled downhill was added to the program for the next World Cup in Beaver Creek, Colorado, starting Friday.
Meanwhile, the world governing body of skiing said that of 10 people involved in the race weekend who initially tested positive for COVID-19, nine were determined to be false positives and were deemed not infected after they were put into isolation and retested.
“The FIS Task Force has determined that given only one individual tested positive with minimal secondary contact, the tour will move onto its next stop in Vail/Beaver Creek,” the International Ski Federation said in a statement. “The individual who tested positive will stay in Canada and complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine according to local regulations.”
The men got in a pair of training runs in Lake Louise earlier in the week, but a third was called off Thursday.
Lake Louise traditionally opens the international men’s speed season and has been a regular Canadian stop on the circuit for almost three decades.
After its cancellation in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the host men’s team was excited to race on home snow again, particularly because a second downhill was added to the Lake Louise program this year.
“It’s always hard when a race gets canceled,” said Jack Crawford, the top Canadian finisher in Saturday’s downhill, who came in 24th. “Going to try to put this one behind us and move into Beaver Creek with a fresh 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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The Associated Press