The International Ski & Snowboard Federation ‘FIS’ held their annual meeting on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, and approved the FIS World Cup Calendar for the 23/24 season. All calendars were approved across the disciplines, but the Alpine calendar was probably the most anticipated, so let’s take a closer look at the proposed 23/24 Alpine World Cup calendar.
There had been a lot of criticizm lately about scheduling of events and it appears that FIS did take some of it to heart. The women will kick off the season on October 28, 2023, with a Giant Slalom in Sölden, Austria, while the men will race the same event the very next day. This is a week later than last year. The next races in Levi, Finland, for the women and Zermatt, Switzerland, for the men, will be held two weeks after that. Zermatt will be the first ever cross-border World Cup race and was scheduled for end October last season but had to be canceled, as there was not enough snow lower down on the Italian side. The cross-border race is now scheduled to premier two weeks later than last year.
A letter signed by now 500 athletes demanded for a later start to the race season as well as a streamlining of the events geographically, to minimize unnecessary air travel. It appears FIS was not willing to change their pattern of moving athletes across to America after a European start, only to have them return to Europe again and the calendar looks geographically much like last season.
There will be four races for the men in America, with Downhill and Super-G for the male speed specialists in Lake Louise, Canada, and Beaver Creek, CO, on two consecutive weekends in late November and early December, while the male technical specialists will travel to America for events on consecutive weekends in Palisades Tahoe, CA, and Aspen, CO, in February/March. Meanwhile the technical specialists amongst the female athletes, who compete in the technical events such as Giant Slalom and Slalom, have to fly to America in November for two events in Killington, VT, and Mont Tremblant, Canada, before returning to Europe again.
The good news for fans in America is, that there will be a total of six American host resorts, with four races scheduled in USA and two races scheduled in Canada. Aspen had been hoping to be able to host races again and officials from SkiCo traveled to meetings in Europe in order to support their bid for Alpine World Cup events, after their successful return to the race calendar last season after a six year hiatus.
Another key item that was voted on at this meeting was the question of the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus for the 23/24 season. The current FIS policy, which does not allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in FIS events, will remain in effect until further notice.
Other items on the agenda were the FIS World Championships, the 2028 FIS Games and the 2026 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Korea as well as the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina-Milano, Italy. The FIS Council granted the hosting rights for the 57th International Ski Congress in 2026 to Belgrade, Serbia.