Two Swiss skiers will miss the first men’s downhill race of the World Cup ski season in Canada because they have refused the vaccination against covid-19. Canada requires international visitors to be fully vaccinated.
On Thursday, Urs Kryenbühl and Ralph Weber posted social media messages saying they had recovered from covid-19 infections and did not want to be vaccinated ahead of the races in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Nov. 27-28.
Comeback postponed – The World Cup season will probably start in Beaver Creek USA for me. Physically, I am doing very well, the current level on the skis is fine and thus allows a comeback in Lake Louise. I feel ready and motivated to intervene in World Cup events again. There’s just this “little” catch: Unfortunately, only vaccinated people are allowed to enter Canada. For this reason I cannot take part in the World Cup opener in Lake Louise.
I have personally made the decision not to have a vaccination at the moment. Since I had a corona infection a few months ago and survived well, I am now considered recovered. Unfortunately, this is not enough to enter Canada.
This is a hard blow and a stab to my racing heart. I am disappointed with the @fisalpine, which has no intention of holding the races at a different location, even though replacement locations have already been found. I can’t get anything from the compulsory vaccination for the races in Canada. Now I have to stay positive and patient and focus on the races in Beaver Creek!
Vaccination status could be a major issue for winter sports athletes ahead of the Beijing Olympics, which begin in less than 100-days. China has said it will impose a 21-day quarantine on any non-fully vaccinated athlete, official, or worker arriving for the Olympics.
Late start of the season ⛷️🏔️r
A very hard and productive preparation is behind me – the current level on the skis is good and I am very motivated for the start of the new season – but for me the season will only start in Beaver Creek because I do not meet the current entry requirements .
I have been following the corona pandemic for a long time and it is an extremely interesting time that we are currently experiencing and about which I will probably tell my children in detail what we have experienced insane. And I also wondered for a long time how and whether I should write this text without being politically or defamed as an athlete.
You can read my entire statement on my homepage www.ralphweber.ch. 📜
I would like to appeal to everyone to leave such a decision open to the other person and not to judge the other person for it. In my case – as in yours – it is your own, very personal decision that you currently have to or may live with. 🙏
The season starts for me in Beaver Creek, which I’m really looking forward to! It can start from me! 💣💥
Lake Louise will also stage three women’s World Cup races from December 3-5.