After some confusion during the Qualifying for the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup in Sunny Valley, Russia, the international governing body of Ski and Snowboard racing has canceled all World Cup events that were to be hosted in Russia. This action comes amid a Russian military operation in Ukraine, and most notably affected the Ski Cross World Cup scheduled for February 26th and 27th and Aerial World Cups scheduled for February 26th in Yaroslavl and March 5th in Moscow.
Qualifying for the ski cross event was scheduled for February 25th and ultimately went ahead. The live-ticker online told a curious story, as every nationality besides the Russian team did not start their runs. This notably included newly crowned Olympic Champions Sandra Naeslund from Sweden and Ryan Regez from Switzerland.
“It is completely unthinkable for the Swedish Ski Association to participate in any competitions in Russia,” stated the Swedish team in a press release regarding the situation. The Swedish team had previously called for FIS to preemptively cancel the events in Russia and were quick to decide to remove themselves from the competition. The remaining teams followed suit swiftly, including the USA’s contingency including California’s Tyler Wallasch and Colorado’s Brant Crossan.
The decision from FIS comes alongside many other actions taken by other sporting organizations. Football’s UEFA announced that the Champions League Final would be stripped from St. Petersburg. Furthermore, the FIA, which organizes the Formula One World Championship, announced that the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi would also be canceled.
A source close to SnowBrains says that many of the national ski cross associations, including the Americans and Canadians will be flying out of Russia to safety in the coming days. The next FIS Ski Cross World Cup is scheduled for March 13th, in Reiteralm, Austria.